US report says a Green New Deal must help electric co-ops switch to renewables

As more and more electric co-ops across the USA signal a growing interest in renewable energy, a report has called for a new programme to transition rural economies to clean power.

The document, Rural Electrification 2.0, says: “The US public is increasingly demanding clean energy to pursue energy independence and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“As the price of renewables​ has dropped, investments in new clean energy generation have accelerated. Generation from solar and wind is expected to grow by 6% and 14% respectively in 2019.

“Maintaining flexibility in energy resources is key to controlling costs as the US shifts to carbon-free energy.”

Written by Erik Hatlestad, CURE (Clean Up the River Environment Minnesota); Katie Rock, Center for Rural Affairs; and Liz Veazey, of Omaha non-profit We Own It, the report says electric co-ops currently source 67% of their energy from fossils – despite “providing the infrastructure for a clean energy future through transmission lines, wind turbines, and utility-scale solar”.

It says the falling cost of renewables have removed a barrier to switching to renewables.

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