Renewables Success Stories

Renewables Reports and Examples

DOE Solar Futures Study — 95% decarbonization of the electric grid achieved by 2035 without increasing electricity prices; Achieving decarbonization requires significant acceleration of clean energy deployment, which will employ as many as 500,000–1.5 million people in solar jobs by 2035.


Many references showing we can reliably power the US grid with renewables

US can supply 90-100% of needs with wind and solar, easily 100% if other renewable sources included
Federal government plan for 86 GW of off-shore wind by 2050:

NOAA, CIRES study: “Our research shows a transition to a reliable, low-carbon, electrical generation and transmission system can be accomplished with commercially available technology and within 15 years.”

University of Colorado: US grid can be powered by solar & wind by 2030

Wind, solar and storage can power US grid 99.9% of the time, from Journal of Power Sources

Many examples of current state and utility successes, including integrating wind and solar

DOE: Integrating 54 GW of wind into US grid:

80% renewables by 2050, with detailed timeline graphs of how to balance loads

US now has more wind power than nuclear, renewables will be #1 power source by 2040:

How Hawaii is balancing load with renewables:

Methods for using solar and wind to meet US demand, from NREL

Low Carbon Economy by Goldman Sachs: solar and wind power will add more power globally than shale

Bloomberg: Cost of renewables keeps going down – solar to be 60% cheaper by 2025, off-shore wind will go down by 35%

Scientific American, Intermittent nature of renewables can be managed by combining them

Solar and wind can power 95% of US electric grid

NREL: Rooftop solar can provide 32% of Virginia electricity; 40% of VA roofs suitable for solar


Communities that have committed to 100% renewable energy
So far:  59 Countries, 72 Cities, 63 Regions/States, 9 Utilities, 21 NonProfit/Educational/Public Institutions, totaling more than 1.8 billion people (and counting…) who have shifted or are committed to shifting within the next few decades to 100% renewable energy in at least one sector (e.g. electricity, transportation, heating/cooling).

Google collection of promises for 100% renewable energy

Global renewables group

Copenhagen carbon neutral by 2025

RE 100: — Over 340 RE100 companies have made a commitment to go ‘100% renewable’.

Burlington VT became the first American city to run on 100 percent clean energy in early 2015

Columbia, Maryland: In September 2015, Columbia announced it would offset 100 percent of its energy use from renewable sources and signed a 20-year power purchase agreement with SunEdison.

Sierra Club’s America’s Ready for 100 program

On the heels of the Paris negotiations, San Diego announced that it is going all-in on clean energy, becoming the largest U.S. city to commit to 100 percent clean energy

Ninety-One Illinois Communities Powered by 100% Green Electricity

Georgetown, Texas: 100% solar and wind by 2017

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, voted in March to go 100 percent renewable by 2030, and not just for electricity but for heating, cooling, and maybe transportation as well.

Two German states already at 100% renewable

Hawaii 100% renewable by 2045

General Motors says it will power all of its global operations using 100 percent renewable energy by 2050, which will include 350 facilities in 59 countries:

NY State 50% renewable by 2030

Frustrated by high electric bills and frequent shutoffs, one of Colorado’s poorest cities passes a resolution to generate 100 percent of its power from renewables by 2035:


In response to the argument that solar takes too much land area

Most analyses show that the US could fulfill all the nation’s energy use needs with solar using less than 0.6% of US land area; and, this can include building and home rooftop area and not just vacant land.  That would be a total of 14 million acres.  By contrast, coal has disturbed 9 million acres in the US, and produces less than 40% of US energy; i.e. solar has a smaller land footprint per unit of energy than coal.  If we apply this just to Virginia, 0.6% of the land would be 160,000 acres.  Half of this could be installed on suitable rooftops.  That leaves 80,000 acres to place at airports and other suitable land areas – a reasonable amount.  And this does not consider the fact that solar will get more efficient, and some of the renewable will be provided by wind, so that the full 160,000 acres in Virginia will not be needed.