For decades, America has anticipated the transformational impact of clean energy technologies. But even as costs fell and technologies matured, a clean energy revolution always seemed just out of reach. Critics often said a clean energy future would "always be five years away."
In 2013, the DOE released a report called Revolution Now highlighting four transformational technologies that are here today: onshore wind power, polysilicon photovoltaic (PV) modules, light-emitting diodes (LEDs), and electric vehicles (EVs). That study showed how dramatic reductions in cost are driving a surge in consumer, industrial, and commercial adoption for these clean energy technologies. This report provides an update and finds that cost reductions and deployment have continued to advance in the past year.
These technologies are changing the nature of our energy system. Solar and wind power are attracting new participants to the energy sector, including household names like Google, Apple and MetLife. LED lighting has emerged as a powerful market competitor to traditional, inefficient incandescent bulbs and EVs are remaking the global automotive economy.
Today, clean energy technologies are providing real-world solutions for reducing emissions of the harmful carbon pollution that causes climate change. Clean energy manufacturing and installation has also become a major opportunity for American workers in the 21st century. In 2014, market data assembled by the U.S. Department of Energy shows that the historic shift to a cleaner, more domestic and more secure energy future is not some far-away goal. We are living it, and it is gaining force.