Guess What – Americans Seem to be Switching to Renewable Energy

Renewable Energy

Read this:  In this article in The Nation Magazine Tara Lohan tells us that “Americans are switching to Renewable Energy … because it’s actually cheaper”.  This goes completely against the rhetoric on most media and particularly the discussions we have with folks on the conservative (non science) side.  One significant indicator is the abundance of “idled drilling rigs usually at work plumbing for oil” across the nation.  “By the end of July, the nationwide rig count had slipped 54 percent since the same time a year ago, indicating distress in the oil and gas industry. The most obvious culprit is the precipitous drop in crude prices. But the trouble goes deeper.”  As fossil fuel prices continue to drop “well below the $100 mark. Tens of thousands of jobs have already been cut, and some debt-laden companies may go belly up.”  This is the part of the story covered by most of the media but there is another part harder to find.  Not mentioned is the fact that “solar and wind have been surging. Renewables have been relegated to the sidelines of our energy priorities, a small blip in our electric generating capacity each year, but that is changing.”  As the organization professes, we can’t continue to follow this path to destruction and they are supported in voicing the alarm.  “Scientists have repeatedly warned that if we continue to burn fossil fuels with our current abandon, we risk catastrophic climate impacts, some of which we are already beginning to see. Instead, they caution, much of our oil, gas, and coal reserves should stay in the ground.”  The fossil fuel industry faces many problems: sustainability, production costs, image and the environment.  A recent “crunch of the numbers on more than 20 US shale operators … found that the companies had been cash-flow-negative since 2009.”  While this has been happening the “companies (are) taking on high levels of debt, including $120 billion in high-risk, high-yield bonds. JP Morgan’s estimate of the default rate for these junk bonds is nearly 4 percent this year and will be a whopping 20 percent next year, if crude prices remain around $65 a barrel.  “While this is all going on there are places such as “the Texas city of Georgetown announced plans to ditch gas and coal for electricity generation in favor wind and solar.”  Although “renewables still account for a small percentage of overall US electricity generation—13 … some states are showing that much greater exploitation of renewables is indeed possible.”  Look at California, which has “become the first state to get more than 5 percent of its electricity from utility-scale solar.”  Looks like things are changing.  Read the entire article below for more details.




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