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In 2020, the United States topped 170 gigawatts (GW) of clean energy after a record 26 GW of projects came online in 2020. This news was announced as the American Clean Power Association released its first Clean Power Annual report.
Wind, utility solar, and battery storage in the U.S. now has the capacity to power 50 million homes. Clean power currently delivers 10.7% of electricity in the United States.
The record investment in the industry also supports 415,000 American jobs with more growth on the way. With the right policies and regulations in place, the industry could deliver over 1 million clean energy jobs by 2030.
“The energy transition is well underway as we aim to meet important climate targets and create good-paying American jobs,” said Heather Zichal, CEO of the American Clean Power Association.
Texas leads all states with 37,443 MW of cumulative clean power capacity installed, followed by California (20,354 MW), Iowa (11,394 MW), Oklahoma (9,395 MW), and Kansas (7,058 MW). Two-thirds of U.S. states operate at least 1 GW of wind, utility solar or battery storage capacity.
Investment in local communities is also a huge benefit of clean energy growth. Last year alone, the clean energy industry paid approximately $1.7 billion in state and local taxes, as well as $800 million in lease payments to landowners.
Wind and solar energy also continue to provide environmental benefits. In 2020, clean energy avoided 71 million cars’ worth of carbon emissions, contributing to long-term health benefits due to decreased mortality, respiratory issues, and other pollutant-related health issues.