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Since President Joe Biden and a new Congress took office earlier this year, federal policymakers have worked to accelerate the United States’ transition to clean, renewable energy sources. One of Biden’s first actions in office was to join the Paris Climate Agreement, the 2016 agreement in which countries pledged to significantly reduce their CO2 emissions. The Biden administration continued with aggressive carbon reduction targets and the proposed U.S. Jobs Plan, which includes provisions to modernize the power grid, encourage clean energy production, and create more jobs in the energy sector. Much of Biden’s agenda builds on earlier proposals such as the Green New Deal, which would cut emissions and create jobs through investments in clean energy production and upgrading high-cost infrastructure. energy efficiency.
The transition to renewable energies has become more urgent in recent years with the worsening effects of climate change. Carbon emissions from non-renewable sources like coal, oil, and natural gas are a major contributor to global warming, and climate experts predict that to limit warming, renewables must provide 70-85% of electricity by mid-century. .
Renewable energy still accounts for less than a quarter of total annual electricity production in the United States, but the good news is that renewable energy has been responsible for a steadily increasing share of electricity production. over the past decade. Most of the upward trajectory comes from the exponential growth in solar and wind power generation. In 1990, solar power produced only 367,087 megawatt hours of electricity, while wind power was responsible for 2,788,600 megawatt hours. Since then, technological improvements and public investments in wind and solar have reduced costs and made them viable competitors to non-renewable sources. By 2020, solar production had reached 89,198,715 megawatt hours, while wind produced 337,938,049 megawatt hours of electricity.