Renewable Energy Debate

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

The Next Step

Climate Change

Becker, Rachel , “Even in a warmer Europe, wind and solar could still keep the lights on,” The Verge, March 6, 2019, European researchers say power grids that rely on renewable energy in the future should be able to withstand less extreme weather shifts related to climate change.

Elbein, Saul , “Europe's renewable energy policy is built on burning American trees,” Vox, March 4, 2019, Europe burns wood as a “biomass” fuel, which technically qualifies as a renewable energy source, but some scientists say the practice adds more carbon into the atmosphere and worsens the effects of climate change.

Company Efforts

Frangoul, Anmar , “Facebook just made a huge commitment on renewable energy,” CNBC, Aug. 29, 2018, Facebook has pledged to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 75 percent and use 100 percent renewable energy to power its global operations by the end of 2020.

Kelleher, Kevin , “Apple Is Leading a Plan to Develop Wind and Solar Power With Akamai, Etsy and Other Companies,” Fortune, Aug. 6, 2018, Apple has developed wind and solar energy farms in Illinois and Virginia to help power thousands of homes and provide renewable energy to other companies.

Russo, Donovan , “Google is building a solar power project above fishing ponds in Taiwan, its first in Asia,” CNBC, Feb. 17, 2019, A solar-panel “canopy” project in Taiwan is the latest of more than 30 other solar and wind energy projects to which Google has committed since 2010.

State Actions

Jones, Natalie , “Maryland legislators push for increase in renewable energy, jobs,” The Baltimore Sun, March 5, 2019, Maryland is considering legislation that would commit the state to obtaining at least half its energy from renewables by 2030 and a plan to increase that to 100 percent by 2040.

Magill, Bobby , “Hawaii ‘Postcard From the Future’ for Renewables,” Bloomberg, Feb. 19, 2019, Hawaii's endeavors in renewable energy make it a prime example for other states on how to successfully integrate wind, solar and other renewable sources into existing power grids, a business reporter says.

Pyper, Julia , “New Illinois Bill Targets 100% Renewable — Not Just Clean — Electricity by 2050,” Green Tech Media, March 4, 2019, Illinois state lawmakers are considering legislation that would end the state's reliance on nuclear power and make it second only to Hawaii in pursuing a plan to obtain all energy from renewables.

Trump Administration

Cama, Timothy , “Trump administration opens door for California offshore wind farms,” The Hill, Oct. 18, 2018, The Interior Department took initial steps last year to explore the viability of building wind energy farms in waters off California.

Ellsmoor, James , “Under Trump's Tariffs, The US Lost 20,000 Solar Energy Jobs,” Forbes, Feb. 24, 2019, President Trump's 30 percent tariff on imported solar panels has dealt the U.S. solar industry a serious blow in the past year, says a solar energy entrepreneur.

Natter, Ari , “Trump Again Seeks Deep Cuts in Renewable Energy Funding,” Bloomberg, March 7, 2019, A U.S. Energy Department official says President Trump's fiscal 2020 budget will propose a 70 percent cut in the department's spending on renewable energy programs.

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Document APA Citation
Mossman, M. (2019, March 15). Renewable energy debate. CQ researcher, 29, 1-58. Retrieved from
Document ID: cqresrre2019031510
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