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A comprehensive resource on state-level renewable electricity standard policy

About the toolkit  |  What are renewable electricity standards?  |  Why is renewable energy important?  |  How are the states doing?

Why is renewable energy important?

Today, the United States relies heavily on fossil fuels and nuclear power to generate its electricity. The result is a system that lacks diversity and security, threatens the health of our citizens, jeopardizes the stability of Earth's climate, and robs future generations of clean air, clean water, and energy independence.

Fortunately, renewable energy resources such as wind, solar, bioenergy, and geothermal are capable of meeting a significant proportion of America's energy needs, and can help alleviate many of the problems mentioned above while providing other important benefits. A strong commitment to renewable energy development can:

  • Protect our environment and public health by avoiding or reducing emissions that contribute to smog, acid rain, and global warming; and by reducing water consumption, thermal pollution, waste, noise, and adverse land use
  • Increase economic development and create new family-wage jobs
  • Create new competition to help restrain fossil fuel price increases
  • Improve our national security
  • Diversify our fuel mix and enhance the reliability of fuel supplies
  • Insulate our economy from fossil fuel price spikes and supply shortages or disruptions
  • Reduce a growing reliance on imported fuel and electricity
  • Reduce the cost of complying with present and future environmental regulations
  • Conserve our natural resources for future generations

Additional resources
To learn more about specific types of renewable energy and their economic, environmental, and other benefits, visit the Energy Technologies section of the UCS website.

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