Solar Marches On, Despite Paris Agreement Withdrawal

Thanks to decreasing costs, solar's growth is inevitable.

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Image courtesy of Nexus Media

The cost of renewables is rapidly declining, and market forces will ensure that solar continues to displace fossil fuels. Wind and solar are now the cheapest source of energy in many parts of the country. Last year, they accounted for two-thirds of new U.S. generating capacity.

This momentum will continue even without backing from Washington. Many clean energy technologies are “past the tipping point and will keep eating fossil market share in any case,” Michael Liebreich, founder of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, tweeted following the Paris announcement.

According to Nexus Media, “The Trump administration is trying to rig the game for coal, but their efforts will likely prove futile. Coal is no longer the bedrock of U.S. power generation. From West Virginia to Wyoming, large utilities are relying more on natural gas and renewables and ceasing construction of new coal plants. Electric vehicles are also making inroads. According to research by Bloomberg, electric vehicles will be cheaper than gas-powered cars in the U.S. and Europe by 2025.”

With the federal government taking a step back, it’s falling to cities and states to continue to support clean energy. To do this, a coalition of mayors, governors, universities, and businesses is pledging to meet the U.S. emissions targets in spite of Paris withdrawal.

Just last week, the Nevada legislature signed a bill raising the state’s renewable energy target to 40% by 2030. And in North Carolina, lawmakers introduced a bipartisan bill to spur the growth of solar power, making it yet another red state pushing clean energy.

Nexus Media also points out that, “No matter what, the requisite four-year waiting period means that pullout from the agreement won’t be completed until November 4th, 2020 — one day after the next presidential election. If a new president were to be elected, he or she could potentially rejoin the agreement in as little as 30 days after taking office. Clean energy will continue to grow over Trump’s first term, propelled by falling costs and state-level policies.”

This article was originally published on Nexus Media and can be read in its entirety there.