by Max Breitbarth
A February 2016 Huffington Post article by Ben Walsh explores the profile of the new American energy projects in light of last December’s COP21 Paris climate agreement.
Walsh analyzes a recent report released by Bloomberg New Energy Finance. The report shows that 68% of new energy projects in the US are renewable. There are very few coal and oil projects, but the fossil fuel, natural gas, continues to make up a significant portion of new energy projects.
One important aspect of the report is that GDP continues to incrementally grow while energy demand hasn’t increased significantly. This is indicative of an overall shift in the US economy away from industrialization. Walsh notes “the path for the US is clear and has been for more than a decade: emissions and the economy don’t necessarily move together.”
Another encouraging note that Walsh makes is that the monetary investment the world must make to meet its green investment goals is also in reach. Incremental global investment, according to the report, is “in the ballpark of the total annual amount of US auto loans.”
It’s important to note that this article covers new energy projects—where the majority of gains in green energy needed to accomplish the goals of reducing emissions 30% from 2005 levels by 2030 will come from reducing fossil fuel reliance and its accompanying infrastructure already in place. The new gains in renewables signal a continued emphasis on clean energy which will lead to a decline in fossil fuel usage over time, especially as oil and coal infrastructure become outdated in the near future. Renewable innovations, a policy-oriented concentration on green energy, and proof-in-the-pudding reports like the one from Bloomberg New Energy Finance should give Americans confidence that reducing our carbon footprint is under way.
Walsh, Ben. “Renewable Energy Is Trouncing Fossil Fuels.” The Huffington Post. 4 Feb 2016. Web.
Bloomberg New Energy Finance. “Sustainable Energy in America Factbook (2016).” The Business Council For Sustainable Energy. 2016. Web.