Every home can have an impact on the earth.
This April 22, 2021 will commemorate the 51st annual Earth Day. It is recognized in nearly 200 countries, with hundreds of millions of people around the world demonstrating their support for a cleaner, more sustainable future.
This year’s Earth Day theme is “Restore our Earth”. While previous observations of Earth Day centered around the dangers of climate change and the consequences of global pollution, and demanded urgent calls to action, this one feels a little different. Yes, there is still work to be done in building towards a clean environment and a strong economic future. However it is becoming more and more clear that things are headed in the right direction.
Today, renewable energy now makes up almost 20% of utility scale electricity generation. By 2030, just nine years from now, the U.S. Energy Information Administration projects that renewables will collectively surpass natural gas to be the predominant source of electricity generation in America. By 2050, almost half of all energy in the United States is projected to be sourced from renewables.
This is partly due to federal, state and local government action, which has pushed utilities and consumers to pursue innovative strategies to incorporate more clean energy into their future plans. Over 170 cities and eight states across the U.S. have passed laws setting goals of having 100% of their energy come from renewable sources. Arizona recently announced the same goal. There have also been important tax incentives, like the federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), which have been instrumental in helping more families and small businesses to be able to afford solar.
Government incentives are not the only reason for the growth of renewables. In fact, the biggest driver, and one that is the most cause for celebration, is the tremendous technological innovation we have witnessed in recent years from the energy sector that has made it all possible. Innovators have made renewable energy more affordable and more efficient.
The cost of going solar has decreased about 80% over the last 20 years. Utility scale battery storage costs decreased nearly 70% between 2015 and 2018 alone. As a result, about 20,000 MW of new battery storage will likely be installed in the United States over the next four years. Battery storage passed the 1 GW milestone for installed capacity just last year.
At Elevation, we have been amazed at the advances in energy efficiency technology and are proud to be able to help our clients take advantage of them every day. There are incredible new innovations to lower the amount of energy needed for appliances, HVAC and lighting without sacrificing any of the comforts of home or quality of life. There is even the ability to manage the consumption of energy throughout the entire home using only a smartphone. Once our Elevation technicians are able to analyze every aspect of your home and monitor your daily energy use in real time, they are able to put all these incredible new technologies to work for you. Something that was unthinkable as recently as a decade ago.
So this Earth Day, remember that we still have many challenges ahead, but take comfort in the fact that there is reason to be optimistic about our environmental future. Renewable, clean energy continues to be more affordable to more people, and energy efficiency technology has become more advanced and user friendly every day.
Every home in America can be a testament to this. A monument to the fact that preserving our environment through the use of clean energy does not have to mean sacrificing quality of life – but in fact can actually enhance it. Elevation helps our customers and partners realize this every single day, which is one reason we love what we do.
Happy Earth Day.