Published on April 11th, 2018 | by Joshua S Hill0
NRDC Launches Tool To Track Cost Reductions & Adoption Of Wind, Solar, EVs, & LEDs
April 11th, 2018 by Joshua S Hill
The Natural Resources Defense Council has this week launched a new tool to track the historic development and cost reductions of four clean energy technologies — wind, solar, LED light bulbs, and electric vehicles — after the Energy Department abandoned their own efforts now that President Donald Trump is in charge.
Revolution Now is a new online tool created by Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) that tracks the latest cost and adoption data for wind energy, solar power, LED lighting, and electric vehicles, and replaces a similarly named report that used to be published by the US Department of Energy, but has since been cancelled. The importance of tracking these metrics is evident in the chart below, which shows the cost reductions going back to 2008.
The new website provides interactive graphs showcasing the latest data on deployment and cost reductions across the four technologies based on data from publicly available government and industry reports. As can be seen above, the phenomenal declines in cost reductions for these technologies is merit enough to continue tracking their performance.
“The DOE’s clean energy research and development investments are propelling breakthrough innovations from the lab into our everyday lives,” said Elizabeth Noll, NRDC’s Climate and Clean Energy Program deputy director of congressional and external affairs. “They’re reducing our energy bills, creating local jobs, and avoiding the pollution that harms our health and climate. Yet the Trump administration is trying to gut critical clean energy research at a time when we need to keep investing in American innovation that can transform our lives and keep the U.S. competitive globally.”
One of the most important highlights revealed through Revolution Now is the fact that wind energy is now the cheapest source of energy across many regions in the United States, with its average price dropping by 75% since 2008. In fact, there is now enough wind power capacity to power 25 million homes. Specifically, “Nationwide wind capacity grew from 25 gigawatts (GW) in 2008 to more than 89 GW in 2017.”
While not as great in capacity, solar power has yielded similarly significant cost reductions and performance over the past decade. Solar now provides enough electricity in the United States to power over 9 million homes, and the cost of installing a large-scale solar farm decreased by 71% between 2008 and 2016. Cost to small-scale solar has also dropped precipitously, down by more than half over the past decade, and enabling a 20-fold adoption increase by 2016.
“America’s energy and transportation systems are transforming at breakneck speed and there’s no shortage of ideas for our universities, national labs, and clean energy innovators to explore and help develop,” Noll said. “Other countries are racing ahead with investments in clean energy R&D, but America risks being left behind without sustained federal R&D investment.”
All images courtesy of NRDC’s Revolution Now