Clean Energy Is Growing in Popularity
Clean energy is becoming a popular energy choice for mainstream America. Eleven states generate more than 10 percent of their electricity from non-hydro renewable energy sources, with Iowa and South Dakota exceeding 25 percent, according to the 2014 U.S. Clean Tech Leadership Index. The Index tracks the clean-tech activities, such as electric vehicle (EV) and renewables adoption, of all 50 states and the 50 largest metro areas in the United States.
Solar installations climbed more than 40 percent year-over-year in the United States, while registrations of all-electric vehicles doubled between the 2013 and 2014 indexes, to approximately 200,000 nationwide.
At least eight states now have more than 50 percent smart-meter market penetration, with California topping 70 percent. Fourteen states, including Georgia, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania, are home to more than 500 LEED-certified green building projects.
Net-zero building and energy-storage mandates are two policies that are dramatically shifting the energy landscape, according to Clean Edge. While there have been some regional attacks against clean-tech supportive policies, such as net metering and renewable portfolio standards, for the most part, the clean-tech industry and its allies have successfully fought off such efforts.
In June 2014, however, President Obama took perhaps the boldest step of his administration to advance clean energy, announcing new Environmental Protection Agency regulations to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030.
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