Despite a number of alarming climate change headlines, 2018 had many big wins for renewable energy. The proliferation of solar and wind power went beyond almost all previous predictions, a record number of states, communities, and companies have joined the renewable energy 100 pledge, and many more.
Here’s a small collection of some of our favorite renewable energy headlines and milestones from the past year. Sneak preview: the future is bright.
156 major brands go 100 percent renewable
2018 saw a huge growth in the number of major global brands pledged to go 100 percent renewable in the near future. Now, with over 150 major brands set with real plans to get there, our 100% renewable future is closer than ever before.
Some of the companies on the list include Nike, T-Mobile, Google, and Johnson & Johnson.
Renewable energy became cheaper than most fossil fuels
“A recent report from Lazard shows how the costs of producing electricity from various sources are changing. Energy from utility-scale solar plants — plants that produce electricity that feeds into the grid — has seen the biggest price drop: an 86% decrease since 2009.” (via the World Economic Forum)
Record wind energy produced in Texas
“SAN ANGELO, TX – The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) reported that the state has just hit a record high electric production by wind turbines, according to WRT.
ERCOT says 17,920 megawatts were produced on Monday at 3:32 p.m. This record made up for 40 percent of the power generated in the territory.” (via San Angelo Live)
Election wins for renewable energy
2018 was, of course, an election year. Though the results represented a mixed bag for renewable energy, there were some big highlights.
- Californians rejected an effort to repeal Senate Bill 1, or “SB1”—putting a new, higher gas tax in place.
- In Florida, voters passed Amendment 9, effectively banning all oil and gas drilling off the coast up to nine miles offshore.
- Voters in the Nevada passed Question 6, which will set the state’s renewable energy standard to 50% by 2030.
14 states generate at least 10% of their electricity using wind energy.
Global shipping giant Maersk pledges to cut carbon emissions to zero
Transportation, and shipping in particular, represent one of the biggest challenges to carbon emissions reduction. In a stunning leap forward, the world’s biggest shipping company, Maersk, announced it would cut carbon emissions to zero by 2050. This was one of the biggest, most important commitments in 2018.