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4 Signs the Renewable Energy Revolution Is Upon Us

by Jill Pape

December 23, 2015

It's been a fantastic year for renewable energy. Here are just a few of the victories we've seen in 2015.

Solarize Charlotte Project Installation

© Jason Miczek / Greenpeace

This was the year of renewable energy. Offshore wind power shattered installation records, wind and solar energy both became more affordable than ever, and the world added more renewable capacity than oil, natural gas, and coal combined.

Perhaps what’s most exciting is that we’re finally shaking free of the false narrative that renewable energy isn’t viable. For years, fossil fuel interests have worked to convince the public that renewable energy is too expensive and inefficient. But after a year of victories for renewables, we’re just not buying it anymore.

Here are just a few of 2015’s exciting developments in renewable energy.

To kick it off, Burlington, VT became the first mid-sized U.S. city to become powered by 100 percent renewable energy. Residents in Burlington get their power from biomass, hydroelectric, solar and wind. The state of Vermont has a goal of getting 90 percent of its energy from renewables by 2050.

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Burlington, VT reached 100 percent renewable energy in 2015.

Soon, Aspen, CO also followed suit. The city had already been getting around 80 percent of its energy from renewable sources, and this year it took the final leap by switching the remainder away from coal. The city now runs on wind, solar, and geothermal.

Aspen, CO. Photo credit Gina Collecchia / Creative Commons

Aerial photo of Aspen, CO. Photo by Gina Collecchia / Creative Commons.

Renewable victories didn’t just happen at the city level, however. In June, Hawaii became the first state to commit to 100 percent renewables, enacting a law that would transition it away from fossil fuels by 2045.

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Hawaii became the first state to commit to 100 percent renewable energy.

Costa Rica is moving quickly away from fossil fuels carbon-neutral status as well — swapping out dirty energy sources for solar, hydropower, and other renewables. And 2015 marked a big step for the country: it is now powered by 100 percent renewable electricity.

San José, Costa Rica

San José, Costa Rica from above.

Join the Energy Revolution

A 100 percent renewable energy future in the U.S. is not only possible, it’s exactly what we need to avoid the worst impacts of catastrophic climate change.

Governments are making the switch at the local, state and national level. With more countries setting ambitious goals to move quickly toward clean energy targets each year, a 100 percent renewable future is in sight. Sign the petition for a renewable energy revolution today!

Jill Pape

By Jill Pape

Jill is an Online Campaigner at Greenpeace USA. She works on engagement and mobilization — giving supporters opportunities to take action and become environmental leaders.

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