By Ethan Pervical
No matter what some sources may say, renewable energy will be the future. Due to the ever increasing effects of methane, carbon dioxide, and carbon monoxide pollution upon our atmosphere, we cannot afford to hold off on clean energy sources any longer. Recently, the US government has recognized the dangerous consequences climate change poses to the world, and in a partnership with the United Nations, has agreed to reach the goal of net-zero emissions by 2050. Before that, the goal of many nations was to cut their emissions in half by the year 2035.
As a result of this agreement, on August 16, President Joe Biden signed the Inflation-Reduction Act into law, which invests a colossal $369 billion dollars to tackle climate change and increase renewable energy sources. A few of the larger aspects of this bill include, investing in the manufacturing of solar panels, batteries, and wind turbines, electrifying the Postal Service fleet, buses, garbage trucks, and other heavy-duty utility vehicles, and helping communities that face more extreme effects of climate change and pollution fix these problems. The IRA actually spends $369 billion in hundreds of different fields aimed at reducing the US’s greenhouse gas emissions, the ways named here are some of the largest investments in this bill. The Inflation Reduction Act is a monumental step closer to the Biden administration’s goal of 40% reduced emissions by 2030.
In addition to this, in the last few months, President Joe Biden announced the construction of dozens of brand new floating and fixed wind farms along the east coast, the Gulf of Mexico, and the west coast. So far, floating wind power only generates about 0.1 gigawatts worldwide and this new program will create 15 gigawatts for the United States by 2035 in floating wind turbines alone. In total, the target to have offshore wind power plants is to create 30 gigawatts of power by 2030, which could generate power for 10 million households.
Accomplishing this will be a tall order; a single wind turbine can cost up to 4 million dollars. Not to mention, the United States doesn’t produce a lot of wind turbines or solar panels. This is where the Inflation Reduction Act and the new Floating Offshore Wind Shot program work their magic. Not only does the IRA invest in building new wind and solar farms, but it is also aimed at creating a domestic manufacturing industry focused on building renewable energy sources. In addition the Floating Offshore Wind Shot program could cut the cost of floating wind farms by 70%.
While the potential energy output of this program is extremely intriguing, it also represents a huge moral victory. Many people (myself included) have demanded that more must be done in order to curb the expansion of climate change. With all the progress made as of late, this is the first time the goal of net-zero emissions by 2050 feels possible.