Renewable Energy Debate

March 15, 2019 – Volume 29, Issue 11
Can alternative sources replace fossil fuels? By Matt Mossman


[1] Roger Williams, “The view from here: Looking back at 2018 and forward through 2019,” Babcock Ranch Telegraph, Feb. 13, 2019,

[2] “Partners for a Brighter Future,” Florida Power & Light, undated,; “Building a cleaner energy future for all,” Florida Power & Light, undated,

[3] Richard Luscombe, “Can a New ‘Solar City’ Make Suburbia Green?” CityLab, May 3, 2018,

[4] “100% Commitments in Cities, Counties, & States,” Sierra Club, undated,

[5] Gideon Weissman, Rob Sargent and Bret Fanshaw, “Renewables on the Rise 2018,” Environment America Research & Policy Center, Frontier Group, July 2018,

[6] Ryan Yonk and Arthur Wardle, “Why renewables alone cannot meet our energy needs,” The Hill, Aug. 19, 2016,

[7] “2018 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook,” Bloomberg New Energy Finance and The Business Council for Sustainable Energy, 2018,; “2019 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook,” Bloomberg New Energy Finance and The Business Council for Sustainable Energy, February 2019,

[8] “Barriers to Renewable Energy Technologies,” Union of Concerned Scientists, Dec. 20, 2017,; “Advantages and Challenges of Wind Energy,” Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, U.S. Department of Energy, undated,

[9] Thomas Overton, “Weighing the Environmental Impacts of Wind and Solar,” Power, July 1, 2016,

[10] “Environmental Impacts of Hydrokinetic Energy,” Union of Concerned Scientists, undated,; Philip Warburg, “Large-scale U.S. solar could get ugly, at least to some,” GreenBiz, Oct. 13, 2015,

[11] John Siciliano, “Trump's energy budget makes coal and nuclear a priority over renewables,” Washington Examiner, March 11, 2019,

[12] Timothy Cama, “Trump imposes 30 percent tariff on solar panel imports,” The Hill, Jan. 22, 2018,; Ana Swanson and Brad Plumer, “Trump's Solar Tariffs Are Clouding the Industry's Future,” The New York Times, Jan. 23, 2018,

[13] Robert Blohm, “The Green New Deal's Impossible Electric Grid,” The Wall Street Journal, Feb. 20, 2019,

[14] “Levelized Cost of Energy and Levelized Cost of Storage 2018,” Lazard, Nov. 8, 2018,; Robbie Orvis, “America's Renewable Electricity Forecast Grows To 2050, Even Under Trump,” Forbes, May 10, 2017,

[15] “2019 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook: Executive Summary,” Bloomberg New Energy Finance and The Business Council for Sustainable Energy, February 2019,

[16] Herman K. Trabish, “Will batteries do for wind what they're doing for solar?” Utility Dive, May 31, 2018,; John Campion, “Battery technology will define the future of renewable energy,” The Hill, Feb. 7, 2018,

[17] “New electric generating capacity in 2019 will come from renewables and natural gas,” U.S. Energy Information Association, Jan. 10, 2019,

[18] Mark Chediak, “California Governor Jerry Brown Signs Bill for Carbon-Free Power by 2045,” Bloomberg, Sept. 10, 2018,; Marlene Motyka, “2019 renewable energy outlook,” Deloitte, undated,

[19] “2019 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook: Executive Summary,” op. cit.

[20] “Majorities See Government Efforts to Protect the Environment as Insufficient,” Pew Research Center, May 14, 2018,

[21] Tom DiChristopher, “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez just released her massive Green New Deal — here's what's in it,” CNBC, Feb. 7, 2019,; “Resolution Recognizing the duty of the Federal Government to create a Green New Deal,”, Feb. 5, 2019,

[22] Josh Siegel, “Senate Republicans argue that progressives' Green New Deal would be impossible and unaffordable,” Washington Examiner, Dec. 11, 2018,; Ledyard King, “Green New Deal: Why the GOP secretly likes Democrats' climate change plan,” USA Today, Feb. 17, 2019,

[23] “Global Energy Transformation: A Roadmap to 2050,” International Renewable Energy Agency, 2018,

[24] Steffen Böhm, “We can't simply bet on renewable energy to stop global warming,” The Conversation, Nov. 4, 2016,

[25] Betsy Lillian, “In 2018, Hawaii Made Big Progress On Path To 100% Renewable Energy,” Solar Industry, Jan. 3, 2019,

[26] John Fialka, “As Hawaii Aims for 100% Renewable Energy, Other States Watching Closely,” Scientific American, April 27, 2018,

[27] “Renewables,” International Energy Agency, undated,

[28] “The State of the Global Renewable Energy Transition,” REN21, 2018,

[29] Ibid.

[30] “Renewables 2018,” International Energy Agency, 2018,; “Global energy demand grew by 2.1% in 2017, and carbon emissions rose for the first time since 2014,” International Energy Agency, March 22, 2018,

[31] B.P. Heard et al., “Burden of proof: A comprehensive review of the feasibility of 100% renewable-electricity systems,” ScienceDirect, September 2017,

[32] “Renewable energy sources can take up to 1000 times more space than fossil fuels,”, Aug. 28, 2018,; Rochelle P. Worsnop et al., “Gusts and shear within hurricane eyewalls can exceed offshore wind turbine design standards,” AGU 100, May 30, 2017,

[33] Ross Marchand, “Uncle Sam is all-in on expensive, impractical batteries,” Washington Examiner, Oct. 8, 2018,

[34] Emma Foehringer Merchant, “Hawaiian Electric Announces ‘Mind-Blowing’ Solar-Plus-Storage Contracts,” Greentech Media, Jan. 4, 2019,; Julian Spector, “PG&E's Record-Breaking Battery Proposal Wins Approval From Regulators,” Greentech Media, Nov. 8, 2018,; Umair Irfan, “California's largest utility just declared bankruptcy. Hello, climate change,” Vox, Jan. 29, 2019,

[35] “Can we get 100 percent of our energy from renewable sources?” ScienceDaily, May 17, 2018,

[36] T.W. Brown, “Response to ‘Burden of proof: A comprehensive review of the feasibility of 100% renewable-electricity systems,’” ScienceDirect, September 2018,

[37] Mark Z. Jacobson, “100 percent Clean, Renewable Energy and Storage for Everything,” Stanford University, Feb. 10, 2019,

[38] Mark Z. Jacobson et al., “100% Clean and Renewable Wind, Water, and Sunlight All-Sector Energy Roadmaps for 139 Countries of the World,” Joule, Aug. 23, 2017,

[39] “United Nations Treaty Collection,” United Nations, March 12, 2019,

[40] Brady Dennis and Chris Mooney, “‘We are in trouble.’ Global carbon emissions reached a record high in 2018,” The Washington Post, Dec. 5, 2018,

[41] Benjamin Storrow, “Renewable Energy Is Surging, but Not Fast Enough to Stop Warming,” Scientific American, Nov. 14, 2018,

[42] Dennis and Mooney, op. cit.

[43] “Characteristics of four illustrative model pathways,” Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, October 2018,

[44] Emma Foehringer Merchant, “IPCC: Renewables to Supply 70%–85% of Electricity by 2050 to Avoid Worst Impacts of Climate Change,” Greentech Media, Oct. 8, 2018,

[45] Nathan Hultman, “We're almost out of time: The alarming IPCC climate report and what to do next,” Brookings, Oct. 16, 2018,

[46] “Electric Power Monthly with Data for December 2018,” U.S. Energy Information Administration, February 2019,

[47] “Green Energy Barometer,” Ørsted, 2017,

[48] Steven Cohen, “Why Renewable Energy Will Replace Fossil Fuels,” Huffington Post, July 17, 2017,

[49] “Countries,” Climate Action Tracker, January 2019,; “Statement by President Trump on the Paris Climate Accord,” The White House, June 1, 2017,

[50] Jan Burck et al., “Results 2018,” Climate Change Performance Index, 2018,; Bob Berwyn, “Can the World Meet Paris Climate Goals Without the United States?” Pacific Standard, Nov. 14, 2016,

[51] Lauren Sommer, “Why 100 Percent Clean Energy in California is Gonna Be Tricky,” KQED, Sept. 10, 2018,

[52] Yonk and Wardle, op. cit.

[53] Joachim Seel, Andrew Mills and Ryan Wiser, “As more solar and wind come onto the grid, prices go down but new questions come up,” The Conversation, May 23, 2018,

[54] Ibid.

[55] “Fact Sheet: Energy Storage (2019),” Environmental and Energy Study Institute, Feb. 22, 2019,

[56] Emma Foehringer Merchant, “BNEF: Gas Still ‘Necessary’ in a 50 Percent Wind and Solar Scenario,” Greentech Media, June 22, 2018,

[57] Jesse D. Jenkins and Samuel Thernstrom, “Deep Decarbonization of the Electric Power Sector: Insights from Recent Literature,” Energy Innovation Reform Project, March 2017,

[58] “Industrial Revolution,” Encyclopaedia Britannica, undated,; C.N. Trueman, “James Watt,” The History Learning Site, March 31, 2015,

[59] “Benjamin Franklin and the Kite Experiment,” The Franklin Institute, June 12, 2017,

[60] “Michael Faraday's electric magnetic rotation apparatus (motor),” The Royal Institution,” undated,; Suzanne Deffree, “Faraday discovers electromagnetic induction, August 29, 1831,” EDN Network, Aug. 29, 2018,

[61] “Early History of Solar,”, undated,

[62] “Edison Biography,” U.S. National Park Service, undated,

[63] Jake Richardson, “America's First Wind Turbine Generated Electricity In 1888,” Clean Technica, June 22, 2014,

[64] Caleb March, “On This Day: First Hydroelectric Plant Opens,” Finding Dulcinea, Sept. 30, 2011,

[65] “Historical Timeline: History of Alternative Energy and Fossil Fuels,”, June 13, 2013,

[66] Daniel Strohl, “How Henry Ford And Thomas Edison Killed The Electric Car,” Jalopnik, June 16, 2010,

[67] Megan Barber, “Before Tesla: Why everyone wanted an electric car in 1905,” Curbed, Sept. 22, 2017,

[68] Abby Harvey, Aaron Larson and Sonal Patel, “History of Power: The Evolution of the Electric Generation Industry,” Power, Oct. 1, 2017,

[69] “Construction of the Dam,” University of Virginia, undated,

[70] “Our History,” Tennessee Valley Authority, undated,; “Hydroelectric Power,” Dictionary of American History,, 2003,

[71] “A Short History of Energy: The Old Days,” Union of Concerned Scientists,; “Historical Timeline: History of Alternative Energy and Fossil Fuels,” op. cit.

[72] “United States Energy Use by Source, 1950–2015,”, Jan. 20, 2018,

[73] “Electricity & Alternative Energy: The Photovoltaic Effect and the Development of Solar Technology,” Alberta Culture and Tourism, undated,; “What are the most efficient solar panels on the market? Solar panel efficiency explained,” energysage, undated,

[74] “Electricity & Alternative Energy: The Photovoltaic Effect and the Development of Solar Technology,” ibid.; Alice Gorman, “60 years in orbit for ‘grapefruit satellite’ — the oldest human object in space,” The Conversation, March 21, 2018,

[75] “Clean Air Act,” USLegal, undated,; Alina Bradford, “Earth Day: Facts & History,” Live Science, April 18, 2017,

[76] James Williams, “Oil Price History and Analysis,” WTRG Economics, Montclair State University, April 9, 2008,; Robert Rapier “The Lasting Impact of the 1973 Oil Embargo,” Energy Trends Insider, Oct. 23, 2013,

[77] “Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standards,” U.S. Department of Transportation, Aug. 27, 2014,

[78] “H.R.16276 — Solar Energy Research, Development and Demonstration Act,”, Aug. 6, 1974,; Matthew Sabas, “History of Solar Power,” Institute for Energy Research, Feb. 18, 2016,

[79] Sabas, ibid.

[80] Laurel Graefe, “Oil Shock of 1978–79,” Federal Reserve History, Nov. 22, 2013,

[81] “Backgrounder on the Three Mile Island Accident,” U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, June 2018,

[82] “U.S. wind energy grows in California, then stagnates nationwide in the 1980's,” American Wind Energy Association, undated,; Molly Lautamo, “Altamont Pass: What's the Story With Those Windmills?” Mobile Ranger, Aug. 9, 2016,

[83] Philip Shabecoff, “Global Warming Has Begun, Expert Tells Senate,” The New York Times, June 24, 1988,

[84] “Mapped: How the US generates electricity,” Carbon Brief, Oct. 10, 2017,

[85] “Summary of the Energy Policy Act,” U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, undated,; “United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change,” United Nations, 1992,

[86] Thomas H, Moore, “Acid Rain: New Approach to Old Problem,” CQ Researcher, March 8, 1991, pp. 129–144.

[87] “History of the Toyota Prius,” Toyota, Feb. 12, 2019,

[88] John Porretto, “Pickens calls off massive wind farm in Texas,” The Associated Press, ABC News, July 8, 2009,

[89] “Special Report: The Department of Energy's Loan Guarantee to Solyndra, Inc.,” U.S. Department of Energy Office of Inspector General, Aug. 24, 2015,

[90] “Paris Climate Agreement to enter into force on 4 November,” United Nations, Oct. 5, 2016,

[91] “Statement by President Trump on the Paris Climate Accord,” op. cit.

[92] Chris Meehan, “Rooftop Solar Pushes New Renewable Energy in 2017 Past Halfway Mark for all New Energy,” Solar Reviews, Jan. 16, 2018,; “US Renewable Electricity Production Up 14.7%, Fossil Fuels & Nuclear Drop (CleanTechnica Chart),” Clean Technica, Dec. 6, 2017,

[93] Ryan Wiser and Mark Bolinger, “2017 Wind Technologies Market Report,” Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy,; Coley Girouard, “The Numbers are In and Renewables are Winning On Price Alone,” Blog, Advanced Energy Economy, Dec. 5, 2018,

[94] Julian Spector, “Nevada's 2.3-Cent Bid Beats Arizona's Record-Low Solar PPA Price,” Greentech Media, June 12, 2018,

[95] “Tumbling Costs for Wind, Solar, Batteries Are Squeezing Fossil Fuels,” Bloomberg NEF, March 28, 2018,

[96] “Deloitte Resources 2018 Study,” Deloitte Insights, 2018,

[97] Ibid.

[98] “Resolution Recognizing the duty of the Federal Government to create a Green New Deal,” op. cit.

[99] Ibid.

[100] William L. Holahan and Charles O. Kroncke, “Column: The smart grid and the Green New Deal,” Tampa Bay Times, Feb. 24, 2019,

[101] “Resolution Recognizing the duty of the Federal Government to create a Green New Deal,” op. cit.

[102] Benjy Sarlin, “‘Existential’ threat to the planet: Ocasio-Cortez offers Green New Deal details,” NBC News, Feb. 7, 2019,

[103] “Resolution Recognizing the duty of the Federal Government to create a Green New Deal,” op. cit.

[104] Andrew Duehren, “‘Green New Deal’ Democrats Position Climate Change as Central Issue in 2020,” The Wall Street Journal, Feb. 8, 2019,

[105] “Green New Deal too ambitious for some Democrats, even those who say Congress must ‘do something,’” USA Today, March 7, 2019,

[106] Ellen R. Wald, “Forget The Green New Deal, The Future Is Batteries,” Forbes, Feb. 21, 2019,

[107] Jennifer Chu,” “Sun in a box” would store renewable energy for the grid,” MIT, Dec. 5, 2018,

[108] Colm Gorey, “Amazing renewable energy battery could power an entire city around the clock,” Silicon Republic, Dec. 7, 2018,

[109] “A flexible, dynamic way to store and generate energy,” Duke Energy, undated,

[110] “Billions in US solar projects have been shelved after Trump panel tariff,” Reuters, CNBC, June 7, 2018,; Kelly Pickerel, “Solar Jobs Census: U.S. solar workforce loses 8,000 jobs in 2018 due to tariffs and state policy changes,” Solar Power World, Feb. 12, 2019,; McKenna Moore, “Trump's Solar Tariff May Cost Up to 23,000 U.S. Jobs, But Boost Domestic Manufacturing,” Fortune, June 11, 2018,

[111] Tom DiChristopher, “US solar workforce shrinks for second straight year as Trump tariffs bite,” CNBC, Feb. 12, 2019,; Dave Gregorio, “Renewable energy seeks demand, investment to survive Trump squeeze,” Reuters, June 22, 2018,

[112] Paul Rogers, “California mandates 100 percent clean energy by 2045,” The Mercury News, Sept. 10, 2018,

[113] Ibid.

[114] “Californians & the Environment,” Public Policy Institute of California, July 2018,

[115] Anmar Frangoul, “From California to Texas, these are the US states leading the way in solar,” CNBC, Sept. 19, 2018,; “Topaz Solar Farm,” First Solar, undated,; Kelly Hodgkins, “These are the largest solar farms in the world,” Digital Trends, Oct. 27, 2018,

[116] Dino Grandoni, “The Energy 202: California and the Trump administration rarely agree on energy policy. Here's an exception,” The Washington Post, Oct. 22, 2018,

[117] Patrick Sisson, “A mighty wind: How Texas's pro-energy, anti-regulation philosophy conspired to create a regional wind boom,” Curbed, Oct. 24, 2018,; Erin Douglas, “Texas wind generation breaks record, ERCOT reports,” Houston Chronicle, Dec. 20, 2018,

[118] Angela Chen, “Why solar is likely to power the Home of the Future,” The Verge, Aug. 13, 2018,; “The Energy Credit: An Investment Tax Credit for Renewable Energy,” Congressional Research Service, Nov. 2, 2018,

[119] Lisa Linowes, “Wind Growth after PTC Expiration,” MasterResource, Sept. 24, 2018,

[120] Samantha Wohlfeil, “With a major tax incentive about to sunset, experts say the time to buy into wind projects is now,” Inlander, Dec. 27, 2018,

[121] “Updated renewable portfolio standards will lead to more renewable electricity generation,” U.S. Energy Information Administration, Feb. 27, 2019,

[122] “Annual Energy Outlook 2019 with projections to 2050,” U.S. Energy Information Administration, January 2019,

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Mossman, M. (2019, March 15). Renewable energy debate. CQ researcher, 29, 1-58. Retrieved from
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