Solar power continues to expand rapidly. The United States now has 121.4 gigawatts (GW) of solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity, producing enough solar energy to power more than 23 million homes. Millions of Americans have invested in solar energy and millions more are ready to join them.
America’s major cities have played a key role in the clean energy revolution and stand to reap tremendous benefits from solar energy. As population centers, they are major sources of electricity demand and, with millions of solar rooftops, they can be major sources of clean energy production as well.
Our eighth survey of solar energy in America’s biggest cities finds that the amount of solar power installed in just nine U.S. cities exceeds the amount installed in the entire United States 10 years ago.
School buses are the largest form of public transportation in the United States. Every day, 480,000 of them carry up to half of America’s children to school and back.
Currently, fewer than 1% of the nation’s school buses are powered by electricity, but with advances in electric bus technology, growing understanding of the benefits of electrification, and now a fresh influx of federal money through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, electric school buses are becoming an increasingly viable option for school districts. Electric school bus models are now available to meet every use case, and the number of districts that have committed to electric school bus adoption, or have drawn up plans to do so, is growing.
Transitioning to electric school buses would provide numerous benefits to communities and the environment, including improving children’s health and reducing air and noise pollution, as well as reducing the disproportionate burden that this pollution places on underserved communities.
Electric school buses have the potential to bring even greater benefits if they are equipped with technology that allows them to deliver power to buildings and back to the grid.
Solar energy is the fastest growing form of electricity generation in the U.S.; in fact, solar capacity has increased about 40-fold between 2010 and 2021. That growth is due to solar energy’s low and rapidly dropping price, the immensity of America’s solar resource, and public policies that make solar power a viable and economically attractive option for individuals and businesses. The report, Solar on Superstores, documents the need and the potential for solar electricity generation capacity among our states.
Following years of rollbacks, President Joe Biden began his term nearly a year ago amidst unprecedented environmental and public health challenges. Despite these obstacles, his administration has made significant strides toward restoring lost environmental protections and confronting daunting threats to our climate and public health, according to a new report by Environment America Research & Policy Center and U.S. PIRG Education Fund.
One in six Americans lives within three miles of a toxic waste site that is so dangerous it has been proposed or approved for cleanup under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Superfund program. Less than a quarter of the more than 1,700 sites that have been added to the Superfund program’s National Priorities List since it was created in 1980 have been deleted, which is the final step in confirming all cleanup goals have been achieved at the site.
Environment North Carolina Research and Policy Center is part of The Public Interest Network, which operates and supports organizations committed to a shared vision of a better world and a strategic approach to social change.