Green Energy Is More Profitable Than You Think

How can green energy help the economy? The short answer is, “do you have any idea how much energy we could generate if we put the focus and the resources behind it?”

That’s the question that Michael Barnard, an associate professor of energy resources at the University of California-Irvine, is trying to answer. He says that the answer could be as high as 50% or even 60% in some places. “That’s the high end of the range we’ve been given,” Barnard says. “If you put the focus and the resources behind it, you could get a very big return.” In a study commissioned by the Energy Department, the use of renewable energy like wind, solar, and other “clean” energy sources like biofuels on the U.S. electric grid could save the United States upwards of $3 billion on energy costs over the next 20 years. 

That means focusing on places like California, where lawmakers have passed laws mandating cleaner energy. The federal government, too, could have an opportunity to use its broad power to encourage the development of green energy in every state.

“We’re in the state of California where the legislature has taken the lead on the issue of carbon pricing,” Barnard says. “We’ve had a carbon tax for the state of California for a while and it seems to have had an effect. There is a lot of demand for it and it seems to have spurred a lot of investment in clean energy.”

However, it might be time for the law to change elsewhere. In Texas, where the governor, Greg Abbott, has been actively promoting the development of alternative energy like wind and solar. While Texas does have a statewide energy policy that’s focused on reducing carbon emissions, the slight shift to renewable energy brings forth a brighter, cleaner future. 

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