Despite 400 parts per million of carbon in the atmosphere, renewables are steaming ahead

by Cassady Craighill

May 10, 2013

Wind turbines on the Story County 1 Energy Center, just north of Colo. Each turbine has a 1.5-megawatt capacity and contributes to generating electricity for up to 75,000 homes. The NextEra Energy-owned wind farm has been in operation since 2008.

© Karuna Ang / Greenpeace

 Karuna Ang / Greenpeace

Karuna Ang / Greenpeace

“400 ppm” is buzzing in the air like the impending ruckus of cicadas.

The immediate reaction to the news that the amount of atmospheric carbon surpassed the dreaded 400 parts per million milestone is to hang your head and sigh. (It’s okay if you’ve done that. I did too). It feels like you’re still running when the race is already over.

We can’t give up. In fact, now’s the time to work harder and faster. The environmental movement is bigger and stronger than it’s ever been, and the planet just lit a fire under us.

We’ve got evidence that the energy revolution is upon us and charging ahead. Here are some very real, very effective facts that you can swallow with every mention of “400 ppm” this weekend.

1.51 percent of all new power plants built worldwide in 2012 were renewables.

2. Google plans to build an offshore wind “superhighway” that willsupply 1.9 million households.

3.US built almost 14,000 megawatts of new wind power in 2012 = to 20 average coal power plants.

4.China increased wind power production more than coal power for the first time ever in 2012.

5.Renewable energy companies now employ about 5 million people worldwide.

6. In just 5 years, renewables connected to Portugal’s electric grid leapt to45% from 15%.

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Cassady Craighill

By Cassady Craighill

Cassady is a media officer for Greenpeace USA based on the East Coast. She covers climate change and energy, particularly how both issues relate to the Trump administration.

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