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Approaching the Renewable Energy Tipping Point

Chasing IceThis year, we were so pleased to share the news that we were involved with the documentary film Chasing Ice, providing offsets during filming to help reduce the climate impact of the production.

The film is the story of one man’s mission to alter the course of history by gathering undeniable evidence of our changing planet. The filmmakers wanted to cut through the statistics often brandished by the media in order to make the case that climate change is real. Through the use of powerful images depicting the beauty of the Arctic and its retreating ice, the film communicates the actual impact of climate change far better than any presentation.

In the year since Chasing Ice was released, there has been increasing attention to the threats posed by climate change. Superstorms like Hurricane Sandy and Typhoon Haiyan and widespread drought have impacted individuals and businesses in devastating ways. Earlier in the year, on Mauna Loa, record atmospheric carbon dioxide levels were recorded and the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released their most recent report, documenting that more than 95% of the world scientists now agree that humans are the source of global warming.

It is clear that there is no simple or short-term solution to climate change. What we must do is systematically and radically reduce our dependence on carbon-based fuels such as coal, petroleum, and natural gas, in order to bring down greenhouse gas emissions. This change will require considerable commitment on the part of governments, leaders, and organizations around the world.

However, there is undeniable evidence that around the world the balance of energy is shifting in favor of renewables. In the past three years, 50% of the new electricity added to the U.S. grid was renewable. Earlier this week, Bloomberg.com reported that billionaire Warren Buffet and his utility company will order about $1B of wind turbines due to the rapidly falling price of wind. Production giant Duke Energy has also announced plans to retire coal plants in favor of wind, solar, and biomass facilities.

Voluntary green power purchasers, like the companies that we work with every day here at Renewable Choice, have played a critical role in this growth. There are now more than 1,500 organizations participating in the EPA’s Green Power Partnership program, jointly purchasing more than 28 billion kilowatt hours of green power annually. Thanks to a recent expansion in the program, now even more companies can be recognized for their green power commitments.

As we turn a page on the calendar and look ahead to 2014, we remain hopeful that our mission will one day be fulfilled, that our work—and the combined work of many others, including our clients—will lead us to a revolution in the way we obtain and use energy around the world, sustaining our natural resources and our planet beyond this generation and far into the future.

Want to learn more about the expansive growth of renewable energy? We invite you to download our recent special report How Renewables are Winning.

By | 2013-12-19T23:53:20+00:00 December 19th, 2013|Environmental Blog|

About the Author:

Amy brings 20 years’ experience in leadership and organizations to her work in sustainability communications for Renewable Choice. She earned her M.Ed. at Colorado State University.