Clean power 101

Facts

Clean power is quickly becoming America’s dominant energy source, as renewables like wind and solar—coupled with battery storage—led new power additions over the past several years. Critical in the fight against climate change, clean energy is also a leading source of U.S. job creation and investment.

Reports

The industry achieved record-setting installations last year, with solar and storage paving the way to historic levels of clean power.

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460,000

Clean energy provides jobs for over 460,000 Americans.

68M

The U.S. has installed enough clean energy to power over 68 million American homes.

102M

Clean energy avoids 102 million cars’ worth of CO2 emissions every year.

Homegrown, affordable, and reliable

The benefits of clean power

Clean energy is set to become America’s dominant power source. Harnessing our world-class clean energy resources will play an essential role in strengthening the country’s economy and combating the climate crisis. Fully realizing our clean power potential will create tens of thousands of good-paying jobs, boost U.S. manufacturing, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Nearly 270 gigawatts installed

an icon with the number 270

The U.S. has nearly 270 gigawatts of clean energy installed.

Fastest-growing jobs

Wind turbine technician and solar installer are among the country’s fastest-growing jobs.

Cutting carbon

Clean energy avoids 240 million tons of CO2 emissions every year.

15.5% of U.S. electricity

Clean energy already supplies 15.5% of U.S. electricity.

America's most affordable power

Wind and solar costs have fallen 31% and 46% respectively over the last decade, making them the most affordable new electricity sources in the majority of the U.S.

Strengthening local communities

Wind and solar projects pay an estimated $3.5 billion a year in landowner lease payments and state and local taxes.

Clean Energy Feels Like Home

Video

Clean energy projects benefit local communities and the careers of people living in these communities. Renewable energy projects create more reliable and secure energy infrastructure while increasing revenue.

What you need to know about clean power

Frequently Asked Questions
What is clean power?

Clean power encompasses renewable resources that don’t emit greenhouse gases or other emissions, including wind, solar, hydropower, and geothermal.

Clean power is increasingly being paired with energy storage.

Is clean energy expensive?

No. The costs of wind and solar have fallen by 42% and 57% respectively over the last decade, making them the most affordable sources of new energy in many parts of the country. In many places, it’s now cheaper to build new wind and solar projects than it is to continue operating legacy power plants.

Is clean energy reliable?

Yes. The U.S. now has enough installed clean energy to power more than 68 million American homes. Solar and wind output is highly predictable, giving grid operators ample time to adjust to changes in output, unlike conventional power plants that can unexpectedly and suddenly trip offline. Wind and solar are also capable of providing many of the same essential reliability services as conventional power plants, which is necessary to keep the lights on. Paired with battery storage, which serves as dispatchable back-up power for the broader grid system, much of the U.S. grid can be reliably powered by clean energy.

Is clean energy good for the environment?

Clean energy sources like wind and solar are critical parts of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and combating climate change. They also avoid air pollution like particulate matter, nitrogen oxides, and sulfur dioxide that create smog and trigger asthma attacks. In addition, wind and solar save 105 billion gallons of water a year when compared to , such as fossil fuel and nuclear plants, because they don’t need water for cooling.

Does clean energy depend on subsidies?

All energy sources in the U.S. receive incentives in some way through tax credits, loan programs, insurance guarantees, or other means. Historically, clean energy has received a fraction of these incentives—at the end of 2020, federal energy incentives provided to wind and solar represent only 6.6% of total energy incentives. And through innovation, advancing technology, and improved domestic manufacturing, wind and solar are the in most parts of the country, even accounting for incentives.

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