Now that 2017 is almost at an end, we’re looking back at the amazing year it’s been for renewable energy. There’s always more work to do to achieve a clean energy future, but let’s make sure we acknowledge the progress towards that goal, and celebrate the successes. With so many “firsts” taking place, and more advances conceivable for one year than most could imagine, we’re pleased to post this list. Enjoy!
- An 80 megawatt power storage facility, powered by Tesla Powerpacks, came online in southern California.
- China announced that it plans to spend $360 billion on renewable energy innovation and implementation by 2020.
- New York state approved the biggest offshore wind farm in the US to be build off Block Island.
- For a few hours on a Sunday in February, half of the energy supply for a swath of the United States including 14 Southwestern states was met by wind energy—a new record.
- Scientists and financial experts released a report stating that by 2020, global demand for oil will have peaked and solar and other renewables will be rapidly supplying more of the world’s energy needs.
- For the first time, the United States got ten percent of its power from renewable energy—an all-time high.
- Japanese researchers broke the record for the efficiency of mass-produced solar panels, raising it from 22.5 percent efficiency in 2015 to 26.6 percent in 2017.
- Tesla announced an energy storage facility that will help power Kauai, Hawaii at night.
- California set a record and met its goal to produce about half the state’s electricity from renewable sources for three hours on March 11.
- The Kentucky Coal Mining Museum announced it would be powered by renewable energy, saving it $8,000 to $10,000 a year.
- A report from the Department of Energy announced that solar jobs are growing 17 times faster than the rest of the American economy, and that the solar industry now employs twice as many people as the coal industry does.
- A report by UN Environment, the Frankfurt School-UNEP Collaborating Centre, and Bloomberg New Energy Finance found that record amounts of renewable energy came online in 2016.
- The Netherlands opened the world’s largest offshore wind farm—150 turbines generating 600 megawatts in the North Sea.
- The United States’ first offshore wind farm connected to land on Block Island.
- China turned on the world’s biggest floating solar array—built on the site of an old coal mine, and capable of producing 40 megawatts.
- A report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance predicted that solar energy will be cheaper than coal almost everywhere by 2021.
- A Department of Energy study found that the cost of building large solar arrays and wind farms has fallen dramatically since 2013.
- The United States Armed Forces—especially the Navy—reaffirmed their commitment to renewable energy in a report from Harvard Business Review.
- China built a 250-acre solar power plant, which by the way, is shaped like a giant panda.
- General Electric announced that they plan to build the United States’ largest wind farm. The farm will be in Oklahoma, and will generate two gigawatts of energy.
- Hywind Scotland, the world’s first floating offshore wind farm, began operation in the North Sea, producing 30 megawatts to power 20,000 homes in the UK.
- A new map was released, showing the encouraging spread of wind farms across the United States—52,000 farms across 41 states.
- Industrial-grade solar power panel production hit cost goals set for 2020—three years ahead of schedule.
- Solar power kept traffic lights and some homes powered in the wake of hurricanes in the Southern US.
- The International Energy Agency announced a “new era” of energy, declaring that solar energy is the fastest-growing field of renewable energy.
- In the wake of Hurricane Maria, Tesla powered a Puerto Rican hospital with solar power.
- Multiple reports confirm that clean energy is growing faster than expected—in fact, solar energy is now the fastest-growing source of power.
- At the end of the month, Google announced that its renewable energy ownership totals 3 megawatts—enough to power all of its offices and buildings around the world, fulfilling a goal they announced in 2016.
- Tesla powered up the world’s largest energy storage station in South Australia.
- In Texas, wind power capacity surpassed coal for the first time.
- A global survey found that the majority of the world’s human population thinks that switching entirely to renewable energy is an important goal.
Whew! That’s quite a list. Here’s looking to another good year in 2018.
Here at CleanChoice Energy, we’ll continue our mission to make clean energy accessible to everyone. CleanChoice Energy supplies customers with 100% renewable energy from wind and solar power. Learn how you can make the switch to clean energy today.