New reports released by A Renewable America confirm that economic growth, energy independence, and new job creation are just a few of the many reasons that a significant majority of Americans consistently support developing renewable electricity. Solar, wind, hydropower, biomass, geothermal and waste-to-energy already provide more than 13 percent of U.S. electricity, and renewables are capturing an increasing share of the power grid every year. In 2013, the major renewable electricity technologies provided well over 527 million megawatt hours of electricity to the utility grid – enough to supply the equivalent of over 43 million average American homes. The renewable electricity industries also represent an important source of American jobs, directly employing over half a million people.
Two new reports highlighting the current and potential economic benefits from developing renewable electricity in Michigan and Minnesota find that the existing deployment of renewable energy is already delivering significant economic benefits. These two states also have considerable untapped renewable electricity potential, and these analyses find that developing these resources can deliver significant economic gains.
“We choose to invest in biomass, solar, and waste-to-energy because of the financial benefits to General Motors. We only purchase renewable energy that is on par or beats nonrenewable energy options – that is the number one priority when we evaluate projects. Renewable energy delivers direct daily savings and offers us the ability to control energy costs in the future as a hedge. Investing in renewable energy offers an opportunity to educate our customers, employees and the community that these technologies are cost competitive with traditional power.” ---ROB THRELKELD, MANAGER, RENEWABLE ENERGY, GENERAL MOTORS
“Waste-to-energy facilities are net greenhouse gas (GHG) reducers meaning that for every ton of trash burned, waste-to-energy facilities reduce net GHGs by more than one ton, when compared to a traditional landfill. In addition, waste-to-energy facilities maintain the strictest emissions controls and are always investing in new technologies to reduce emissions further.” ---DOUG WOOD, DIRECTOR, KENT COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS
“The Hennepin Energy Recovery Center is located in downtown Minneapolis, across from Target Field. We are able to take the waste generated at Target Field and convert it into energy for them to use. This facility meets extremely high air quality and emissions standards and generates positive environmental and economic benefits for the county.” ---CARL MICHAUD, DIRECTOR, HENNEPIN COUNTY ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES