by: Jeff Berardelli
TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — In this week’s landmark climate report, the UN warns deep and immediate emissions cuts are needed to avert climate disaster. But the report also says we now have the solutions because renewable energy has become as or even more affordable than traditional energy sources.
In this graphic below you can see just how fast the cost of utility-scale wind and solar energy have plummeted – as much as 85% in the past 10-15 years.
Compare that to other forms of energy, and solar and wind are now becoming cheaper in many cases.
While Florida does not produce any wind energy, we are a leader in solar energy. The Sunshine State is the third-largest producer of solar energy in the nation.
And the Tampa Bay Area is pulling its weight as Hillsborough County ranks as the number one solar-producing county in the state.
But if we hope to keep climate change below critical levels, experts estimate humanity needs to increase renewable generation ten-fold by 2050. At the current pace of growth, the increase in renewables is not nearly fast enough to keep temperatures below Paris Agreement targets.
With that said, nationwide employment is benefiting from the renewable industry. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says that Wind Turbine Technician and Solar Installer are among the top five fastest-growing occupations in the nation.