Hot Springs, #Arkansas is set to join six other cities across the U.S. in a commitment run solely on 100% #solar and #renewable energies. The switch to solar-powered utility and other #renewable energy sources will save the city nearly $30 million over the next several decades. City manager Bill Burrough, who is responsible for all city departments, funding, and supervision, stated that he “is always looking for initiatives to become greener, to take care of our environment, and look at opportunities to lower costs.”
Hot Springs is already the largest city in Arkansas to rely on #solar energy, making this transition most feasible in this particular area. Bill Halter, CEO of Scenic Hill Solar, is in full support of the commitment and will be helping oversee the construction of solar power plants across 80 acres of land in the city.
Other Cities Aiming for Complete Solar and Clean #Energy Reliance
The six other cities working towards becoming 100% reliant on renewable and solar utility in the next several decades include Burlington, Vermont; Georgetown, Texas; Aspen, Colorado; Greenburg, Kansas; Rockport, Missouri; and Kodiak Island, Alaska. Several other cities including Kansas City, San Diego, and Cincinnati have also made similar commitments, hoping to convert to 100% clean energy within 40 years.
State and Worldwide Solar and Renewable Energy Statistics
In the global effort to implement renewable and solar energy resources, the United States is not the only country making significant strides. In Europe in 2017, for example, 17.5 percent of energy consumption in that region was derived from sources other than fossil fuels.
There is still plenty of more work that will need to be done across the U.S. when it comes to solar and renewable energy implementation, especially when certain statistics are taken into account. The University of Michigan’s Center for Sustainable Systems released a factsheet stating that 80 percent of energy consumed in the U.S. is still generated from fossils fuels. 37 percent comes from petroleum, 29 percent from natural gas, 8.6 percent from nuclear power, and 11 percent from solar and renewable energy resources. Additionally, while wind energy is quickly becoming the fastest–growing source of renewable energy generation, it still only accounts for around 2.4 percent of the energy used in the U.S.
Can the World Give Up Fossil Fuels Entirely?
As solar energy is becoming increasingly popular in the United States, we must ask ourselves – is 100% solar and renewable energy dependence possible? That is, can we hope to completely abolish greenhouse gas emissions in favor of these solar and other alternatives? And if so, how will this shift impact jobs, economic movement, and other factors?
One particular study aimed to find out the answers to these questions. The study titled 100% Clean and Renewable Wind, Water, and Sunlight All-Sector Energy Roadmaps for 139 Countries of the World was published back in 2017. Mark Z. Jacobson, one of the lead researchers of the study, found that he was surprised by the study results, stating that multiple countries have the sufficient resources available to be 100% powered by solar, wind, and other renewable utilities. The roadmaps laid out in the study provide guidelines for how various countries across the world can power all energy sectors, such as transportation, agriculture, and heating/cooling, with 100% wind, water, and solar power. If these particular roadmaps ever come to full fruition by 2050, it is estimated that the world can avoid the 1.5°C global warming, increase worldwide access to solar and renewable utilities, and ultimately see 24.3 million full-time jobs created.
Solar is the Way of the Future
The buzz around solar power isn’t going away any time soon. Solar energy implementation is just starting to take off. We will likely see more studies published about the effects of solar energy implementation on our planet in the coming years. We can look to solar utility as a positive step forward for all countries across the world. The more we can keep talking about solar energy, the more likely solar energy will become the norm.
You can read the solar and renewable energy study published by Joule here: https://www.cell.com/joule/fulltext/S2542-4351(17)30012-0