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Letter: Renewables making remarkable progress

Renewables making remarkable progress

An exciting milestone has been reached. In March and April of this year, for the first time since the nuclear era began, more electricity was generated from renewable sources than from nuclear plants. This is documented in the June edition of Electric Power Monthly, a publication from the U.S. Energy Information Agency, which tracks national electric generation data and trends.

This follows on the heels of an October 25, 2016, headline in the Financial Times that “Renewables overtake coal as world’s largest source of power capacity.”

While polls consistently show that Americans overwhelmingly support a strong transition to renewables, many people aren’t aware of the remarkable progress that is taking place behind the scenes. Worldwide in 2015, 500,000 solar panels were installed on an average day, while China alone averaged 2 wind turbines every hour, according to the International Energy Agency.

People might also be unaware of the good news that renewable energy jobs are growing rapidly and providing living-wage opportunities for Americans of all education levels. PolitiFact recently stated, “Based on an apples-to-apples comparison using the best available data, the ratio [of solar-related jobs to coal-related jobs] is just short of 3-to-1.” A 2016 “Clean Jobs New York” study commissioned by Environmental Entrepreneurs found 85,197 clean energy jobs across New York State.

We certainly have a long way to go, and we’ve barely begun the transition to renewables in heating our homes and powering our cars, but the transition has begun and is rapidly picking up steam. This is good news for the health and well-being of our children and even better news for their children.

Bill Nowak

Buffalo

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