Last week President Donald Trump (R) proved he was thinking of a different era as he took moves to strike down President Barack Obama’s (D) Clean Power Plan, as he had promised during his campaign. Even as Trump took drastic measures, it seems the world may be passing him by. Budweiser’s parent company announced plans to go 100 precent renewable, the solar industry introduced new tools showing the undeniable positive economic impact solar has and renewable energy development continued to surge in the US and world, resulting in lower electric costs.
On March 28, Trump took his pen to slashing his predecessor’s Clean Power Plan, further dismantling environmental protections in an attempt to prevent coal power from giving up the ghost, and making it competitive with renewable energy and natural gas. The move drew criticisms from the environmental and clean energy communities.
Still there were few signs that the renewable energy industry or businesses and others outside the renewable energy industry had any plans to acquiesce with Trump’s plans. In the Republican-controlled Senate two energy efficiency bills moved forward out of committee drawing support from the Business Council for Sustainable Energy and others.
Meanwhile a new International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) report, Renewable Energy Capacity Statistics 2017, found that the US was only behind China in terms of the amount of new renewable energy installed last year. That’s within the larger context of record growth for all renewable energy sources across the world. The report also found that the amount newly installed solar surpassed newly installed wind power for the first time since 2013.
Many companies are continuing to increase their use of renewable energy, as well. Ikea, which has long been a fan of renewable energy, now has solar power on 90 precent of its US buildings. The company’s on its way to being energy independent in the next three years, powered by wind and solar installations it owns across the world.
Not even the more resource-intensive process of brewing beer can stop companies from going renewable. Last week the world’s larger brewery InBev Co, which counts Budweiser and Anheuser-Busch among its more than 500 brands, announced it's committing to 100 percent renewable energy by 2025—that’s from just 7 percent now.
To help federal, state and local legislators, administrators—and basically everyone—understand how solar power is adding to local economies across The Solar Foundation introduced a new, interactive Solar Jobs Map tool online that allows users to see the local impact of solar jobs and see important facts, like the median wage in the solar industry, which is $26 an hour—that’s more than three times higher than the US minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.Tweet