Energy secretary: Green power has increased ‘dramatically’

Energy secretary: Green power has increased ‘dramatically’
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Renewable power deployment has “increased really dramatically” over the last eight years, Energy Secretary Earnest Moniz said Wednesday after his department released a new report detailing green energy costs and generation. 

The Department of Energy study concluded that the cost of five clean energy technologies — from wind and solar power to LED lighting — has declined between 40 percent and 94 percent, depending on the technology, since 2008. 

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Wind and solar power, the report found, accounted for two-thirds of new electricity capacity installed last year, and together produce enough electricity to power 19 million homes.

“The clean energy revolution is too often always assumed to be something that would come along in 10 to 20 years,” Moniz said Wednesday during the Washington Ideas Forum, sponsored by The Atlantic. "The message is: look around, it’s happening now.”

The renewable energy sector has grown dramatically during Obama’s presidency, a phenomenon he and his administration often highlight. 

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGOP warns Graham letter to Pelosi on impeachment could 'backfire' Hillary Clinton praises former administration officials who testified before House as 'gutsy women' Third-quarter fundraising sets Sanders, Warren, Buttigieg apart MORE has said she would look to continue that trend as president, setting a goal of installing 500 million solar panels and putting the U.S. on pace to power every home with renewable electricity.

Moniz said the United States needs to quickly lower energy sector carbon emissions as a way to take on climate change. He suggested nuclear power, a source with which some greens are uneasy, could be part of that effort.    

“I’m not asking you to feel warm and fuzzy,” about nuclear power, he said. “But I am suggesting it will help a lot to reach the deep decarbonization we need by mid-century and beyond.”