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By powering millions of homes and businesses, renewable energy is reducing the threat of climate change and making the air safer to breathe. Wind farms have become a familiar part of the landscape, and solar panels have spread across rooftops nationwide. Yet we have only begun to tap the potential of clean energy alternatives.

NRDC is helping to bring the benefits of renewable energy to more communities around the globe. In the United States, we develop and support policies that unleash growth in wind and solar power, working at the state level to secure renewable energy standards, promote net metering (which allows solar consumers to sell of the excess power they generate onto the grid), and encourage officials to develop strong plans to reduce carbon pollution. Nationally, we support incentives that spur innovation in renewable energy and push for a federal standard that would require 30 percent of all U.S. electricity to be generated from wind and solar by 2030. We are also helping to ensure that the nation’s transmission grid—designed more than a century ago—is modernized to support the clean power revolution. And part of increasing wind and solar power is also making sure that the power plants and the transmission grid needed to support them are designed and sited carefully to minimize the impacts on wildlife, which we work to mitigate.

Leaders in China and India are also turning to wind and solar power to reduce climate change pollution and sustain economic growth. In China, NRDC supports the development of a flexible power grid capable of handling a high penetration of renewable energy, and we promote policies that help utilities manage that new influx. In India, we advise government officials on meeting the nation’s solar energy and wind goals and adopting financial structures that encourage clean energy projects. And in Latin America, NRDC works with local partners to encourage governments to focus on developing their renewable sectors instead of continuing to rely on fossil fuels. Key Resources

WASHINGTON (October 8, 2015) – America’s reliance on wind, solar, and other renewable sources of energy has reached historic levels and is poised to make even greater gains in the near future, according to new report by the Natural Resources Defense Council.

NRDC’s Third Annual Energy Report, “A Tectonic Shift in America’s Energy Landscape,” found that the energy sector in the United States emitted less dangerous carbon pollution last year than in 1996, with a full 10 percent reduction over the past decade. Meanwhile, coal and electricity consumption are down nationwide, while oil use today is lower than in the early 1970s, the report shows.

“The economic and environmental performance of America’s energy systems has never been better, and the single most important contributor to these positive trends is energy efficiency, the largest and least expensive way to meet the nation’s energy needs,” said Ralph Cavanagh, co-director of the NRDC energy program. “However, America can, should, and must do more to increase our efforts to help stabilize the world’s climate.”