With vast natural resources and access to advanced energy technology the United States is in prime position to take a leading role in the renewable energy industry and in climate change mitigation. As a nation, the United States has acknowledged that they may experience many negative effects if world temperatures continue to rise, including higher risk of natural disasters and flooding as well as having to manage the relocation of possibly millions of affected people. In the past few years the United States has taken their role as a global leaders in combating climate change seriously. They are signatories of the Paris Climate agreement and have accepted the challenge of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 26-28% (from 2005 levels) by 2025.
The United States has an abundance of renewable and non-renewable resources. In 2015, renewables (including hydro power) accounted for 10% of total energy consumption and renewable energy’s share of electricity generation has been increasing over time. Traditionally the United States has relied on coal fired power plants to contribute the largest portion for electricity generation but its share has been steadily decreasing. By 2015 the portion of electricity generation from coal decreased so much that it was matched by electricity generated from natural gas, each generating 33% of the nation’s electricity. The natural gas industry has certainly expanded rapidly in the past few years however the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that this growth in gas sector has actually been exceeded recently by growth in wind and solar. More than 50% of new installed capacity for the grid in 2016 came from renewable energy , indicating how big the industry is becoming in the nation.
To continue to read the full USA, Federal Level Report as part of our Research Series “The Future is Renewable: Targets and Policies by Country”, please click “Read More”.