On Tuesday, the Obama administration announced a commitment to nearly triple wind power, solar power, and other non-hydro renewable sources in the U.S., so that they make up 20 percent of our energy use by 2030.
While we hope this pledge will spur other nations to ramp up their efforts on renewable energy, let’s be clear: it falls far short of what is feasible, desirable and necessary to solve the climate crisis.
To tackle the climate challenge, we should be meeting all of our electricity needs with pollution-free renewable energy. And though that will require a sharp turn in the attitudes of many of our political leaders, it is technically quite feasible, as the latest study from Stanford affirmed last month.
The pathway to 100 percent clean energy involves a much steeper climb in wind, solar and other clean energy sources in the next 15 years than the president has committed. Our research shows that climb is quite achievable. Wind power alone could supply 30 percent of our energy needs by 2030. And if solar power grows at even a fraction of the rate it has grown in past years, it could easily chip in another 10 percent by that same year.
Don’t just take our word for it. Both the Obama and the Bush administrations have said that wind alone could provide 20 percent of our energy needs by 2030, easily and affordably.
With the potential to power our nation many times over with the wind and the sun, we need to keep raising the bar for clean energy and climate action.