There is a lot to love about a limitless, low-cost energy supply: The sun, wind, water, and other renewable energy sources can keep our power on, our air clean, our citizens healthy, and our economy strong. That’s why this February 14, we’re celebrating our appreciation of clean energy with 14 lovable facts.
1. We love getting down to business: Over the next decade, clean energy deployment is expected to create an average of 1.5 million American jobs every year in manufacturing, construction, buildings, electric grid management, and more. In fact, you can apply for jobs at the U.S. Department of Energy right now and become part of the Clean Energy Corps.
2. We adore abundance: Every American deserves access to the endless supply of renewable energy. With 40% of DOE investments set to benefit disadvantaged communities through the Justice40 Initiative, DOE’s $2.5 million Inclusive Innovation Prize is funding organizations working with those communities to develop clean energy technologies.
3. We like moving fast: Prize competitions are a fun way for innovators of all stripes to join the clean energy revolution and accelerate commercialization of their technology solutions. DOE’s American-Made Challenges have turned groundbreaking ideas into prototypes life in months instead of years.
4. We care for each other: More than 7 million low-income U.S. households have saved money on energy costs and improved their safety and energy efficiency through DOE’s Weatherization Assistance Program. Nearly 40 million more households are eligible to apply for assistance.
5. Efficiency is hot: In the past year, DOE’s Better Buildings Initiative saved $13.5 billion in energy costs and more than 130 million metric tons of carbon emissions.
6. Sun power warms our heart: A solar-powered future could employ as many as 1.5 million people and generate up to 40% of U.S. electricity by 2035. Solar is cheaper than fossil fuels in many parts of the country, too.
7. Water power has our back: Hydropower makes up almost 40% of clean energy produced in the United States and 95% of the nation’s energy storage, so we can access energy whenever we need it.
8. Wind power is rejuvenating: Hitting DOE’s goal of achieving 30 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2030 will power more than 10 million American homes and cut 78 million metric tons of carbon emissions.
9. Geothermal digs deep: California’s Salton Sea is a sustainable source of lithium, a critical component in batteries needed for electric vehicles and clean energy storage. The site could deliver up to 600,000 tons of lithium a year.
10. Bioenergy makes us fly high: Turning food and plant waste into sustainable fuels is changing transportation as we know it. In December, the first biofueled plane flew from Chicago to Washington, D.C.
11. Sustainable transportation moves us: With electric vehicle battery packs almost 90% cheaper than they were in 2008, we’re on track to make 50% of all new vehicles sold in 2030 zero-emission.
12. We love a multitasking chemical element: Hydrogen can be used to produce electricity, store energy, and create clean fuels for the transportation sector, all while reducing carbon emissions.
13. Manufacturing completes us: The manufacturing sector is so essential that it’s powered by 25% of the nation’s energy. More than 12 million Americans have manufacturing jobs.
14. We’re into leadership by example: DOE’s Federal Energy Management Program reduces the cost and environmental impact of U.S. government buildings by providing tools for other agencies to make sure their buildings operate efficiently.