More than 300 US state and local lawmakers support the goal to achieve 50 percent renewable energy by 2030, 100 percent clean energy by 2050

More than 300 US state and local lawmakers have pledged their support for 50% energy from renewable sources by 2030 and 100% by 2050 in a letter to President Barack Obama.

Big states like California and New York have already ordered their respective administrative body’s to draft mandates for clean energy.

New York State Public service commission was recently ordered by its governor, Andrew Cuomo to draft a policy that would enable the state to receive 50% of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2030. Cuomo also called for a 40% reduction in emissions.

“Climate change is one of the defining issues of our time, and we must act now. As discussions continue in Paris, we are taking real, enforceable actions in New York to lay the foundation for a thriving clean energy economy. With one of the most aggressive renewable energy goals of any state in the nation, we are leading by example to ensure the possibility of a bright future for generations to come,” The governor said.

The United states have been slowly progressing in the field of renewable energy. Renewable sources have gone past nuclear in US total energy production. 4.44% of all generated electrical energy came from wind power in 2014. It is also to be noted that 13.2% of  US domestic electricity came from Renewables in 2014.

Though growth in renewable energy has been quite steady, the US is quiet behind European Countries in harnessing clean energy.  E. Donald Elliot, a professor of law in Yale Law School points out that the US had every plan and resources to compete against the Europeans since the federal U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) was formed in 1977 but most of the annual plans that were made every 2 years were ignored . Mr. Elliot further adds that national energy policy plan made in 2011 was the most effective in 35 years. 

San Diego to run 100 percent on renewable energy by 2035

Renewable energy has become the latest trend now, given its low cost and flexibility. San Diego which produces the second largest electrical output from solar energy in the US has laid out a new plan to cope with climate change.

The new plan initiates to run the city completely on renewable energy by 2035. The city also plans to reduce 50% of the greenhouse gas emission by 2035. Another target of the plan is to create Jobs through manufacturing and installation of solar panels.

“San Diego is a leader in innovation and sustainability,” the Climate Action Plan reads. “By striking a sensible balance between protecting our environment and growing our economy, San Diego can support clean technology, renewable energy, and economic growth.”

San Diego is not the only city, trying to go 100% renewable. San Francisco, Sydney, and Vancouver have already joined the growing list of cities committed to run completely on renewable energy.

With recent record of Costa Rica running 99% on electricity generated from renewable energy, this plan from San Diego doesn’t seem too far-stretched. 

Portugal ran entirely on renewable energy for 4 consecutive days

According to a study conducted by the National Energy Network (REN) and the Portuguese  Renewable Energy Association (APREN), Portugal ran entirely on renewable energy for 4 consecutive days. The data collected from the study said that the country ran 107 hours without using any source of non-renewable energy.

Portugal record of using renewable energy is not new. In 2013, renewable energy provided 70% of the country’s electricity needs in the first quarter. Portugal has a favorable weather condition that increases the wind and water flow which helps in harnessing renewable energy quite easily. Moreover,  less consumption of energy and use of renewables by the Portuguese citizens has been responsible for such growth in the energy sector. 

Japan is building the World’s largest floating solar power plant

Japan doesn’t have much land to spare. Tokyo Leasing Corporation along with Kyocera Corporation have announced a project to built the World’s Largest Floating Solar Plant.

The 13.7 megawatt (MW) floating solar power plant will be built on the Yamakura Dam reservoir. Kyocera had earlier announced building a similar 7.5 MW solar power plant on Umenokifurukori reservoir in Japan.

51,000 Kyocera solar modules will be installed over the waters of the Yamakura Dam reservoir which is an 180,000 square meter area. The project is expected to generate an estimated 16,170 MWh of electricity per year, enough to power up 4,700 typical households.

Only three countries in the world-Japan, India and Australia have built floating Solar Plant so far.

The Yamakura Dam project is set to complete by March 2018. Kyocera has built four floating solar power plant in Japan so far since 2014. The company plans to sell the electricity generated from this solar farms to the Tokyo Electric Power Company.

Floating solar plant are actually very beneficial. Solar panels in water perform better than that of the land. Algae growth in water can be slowed down by the solar panels which stop sunlight from hitting the water. 

France to build 1000km of road with solar panels

France is planning on a project to build 1000 kilometers of road with specially designed solar panels. This project will supply 5 million people in France with electricity if it is successful. Though many solar experts are skeptical of this project, the french government has given the go ahead to this venture.

According to France’s minister of ecology and energy, Ségolène Royal, the tender for this project is already issued under the “Positive Energy” initiative and the test for the solar panels will begin by this spring.The photo voltaic solar panels called “Wattway”  which will be used in the project is jointly developed by the French infrastructure firm “Colas” and the National Institute for Solar Energy. The specialty of “Wattway” is that its very sturdy and can let heavy trucks pass through it, also offering a good grip to avoid an accident. Interestingly, this project will not remove road surfaces but instead, the solar panels will be glued to the existing pavement.

Such solar road project is not new, a couple from Idaho have already crowdfunded a similar prototype in 2014. The couple has managed to raise a total of $2,266,052USD for their project in a crowdfunded Indiegogo campaign. Adding that, they were granted 2-year $750,000 contract by the Federal Highway Administration on December 2015

Last year in November, the dutch opened the first solar road that converts sunlight into electricity. Though the electricity generating road is only 100 meters long. 

99% of Costa Rica’s electricity came from renewable energy in 2015

Costa Rica is a small country with not more than 5 million. The country has recently made headlines by operating 100% on renewable energy for 285 days

The Costa Rican Electricity Institute(ICE) released a statement that 99% of the electricity came from renewable sources this year in 2015. Fossil fuels provided the rest 1% .

The Costa Rican government announced on March that the country had been running fully on renewable energy for the first 75 days of 2015..It also placed a target to run 97.1 percent on  geothermal, wind, biomass and solar sources for the rest of the year.

Its has become a race among countries for utilizing renewable energy to its full extent. Uruguay is another country that is generating 95% of its electricity from renewable energy. Iceland almost gets all its electricity from clean sources. Recently, Denmark generated almost 140% of its electricity demand from wind turbines.

The future of renewable energy seems promising. According to a recent analysis by the Renewable Electricity Futures Study , Renewable Energy Can Provide 80 Percent of U.S. Electricity by 2050. Out of the 80%, almost 49–55% of electricity could be provided by wind and solar.