EGEB: Green energy switch would save Americans billions — study

  • A new study shows that up to $321 billion could be saved in the US with a 100% switch to green energy.
  • The US will go green regardless of who wins the US election, but the outcome will impact the speed — and climate change.
  • A new cooling paint could cut building emissions and reduce temperatures by 18F.
  • Arcadia Power is committed to making clean energy work for the planet and Americans’ bank accounts — all without changing your utility company. Sign up to receive your $20 Amazon Gift Card — *ad.

Green saves greenbacks

Transitioning to 100% green energy would save Americans billions in energy costs each year while dramatically reducing economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions, according to a new report, “No Place Like Home: Fighting Climate Change (and Saving Money) by Electrifying America’s Households,” by nonprofit coalition Rewiring America.

The average household in every state would be better off economically by electrifying. Annual savings would average between $1,050 to $2,585, and the US as a whole would annually save up to $321 billion.

Solar PV is also now consistently cheaper than new coal- or gas-fired power plants in most countries, and solar projects now offer some of the lowest-cost electricity ever seen, as Electrek reported on October 13.

And that’s just economic benefits. Electrifying would also benefit health, climate, reduced maintenance costs, and more consistent performance. More than 40% of energy emissions come from home appliances, according to the report, such as heating, electricity, refrigeration, and automobiles.

Adam Zurofsky, executive director of Rewiring America, said:

As Americans continue to struggle to make ends meet, this analysis provides an exciting and desperately needed road map for a brighter future.

If we do it right, electrifying the American household presents a unique opportunity to create millions of jobs, save families thousands of dollars a year, and dramatically slash our carbon emissions in the process.

How fast for the US?

If Joe Biden won the US election — and with congressional support — the US would move to green energy at a much faster pace. But regardless of the outcome, the US is going to transition to renewables, according to a report by S&P Global Platts Analytics.

For example, a right-leaning Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions poll found that 67% of Republican and Republican-leaning voters agree that making investments in clean energy are important to rebuild the economy after the pandemic.

Market Watch reports:

S&P Global Platts Analytics’ expectations for the next few years include a brief rebound in coal as demand and supply are better aligned. Coal is the fading sector of the economy that President Trump pledged to save during the last election even as coal operators themselves had already been closing or migrating to other sources.

The Platts forecast includes a pullback in natural gas, the electricity source that has logged an historic cost drop and increased U.S. energy independence. 

By 2030, coal’s current 21% share of the generation mix would be closer to 5%, under a reference case that assumes a federal carbon price starting in 2026, Platts says. Wind and solar generation in that scenario is seen increasing from 11% of the generation mix in 2020 to 30% in 2030.

There is clear movement at the state and local levels to embrace green energy, but a federally implemented green energy plan would give the transition the momentum it needs. And in order to slow climate change, it needs to be as fast as possible.

Cooling paint

Researchers from Purdue University in Indiana say they have developed a white paint with strong cooling properties that has the potential to reduce reliance on air conditioning. The engineers involved say the impact is achieved by adding different-sized particles of calcium carbonate, an earth-abundant compound commonly found in rocks and seashells:

These calcium carbonate fillers absorb almost no ultraviolet rays due to a so-called large “band gap,” a result of their atomic structure. They also have a high concentration of particles that are different sizes, allowing the paint to scatter a wider range of wavelengths.

The study found that the radiative cooling paint was able to reflect 95.5% of sunlight and reduce temperatures by 18F — that’s a lot.

“The paint would not only send heat away from a surface, but also away from Earth into deep space where heat travels indefinitely at the speed of light. This way, heat doesn’t get trapped within the atmosphere and contribute to global warming,” reports Purdue.

Check out the video about the new paint below:

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Avatar for Michelle Lewis Michelle Lewis

Michelle Lewis is a writer and editor on Electrek and an editor on DroneDJ, 9to5Mac, and 9to5Google. She lives in White River Junction, Vermont. She has previously worked for Fast Company, the Guardian, News Deeply, Time, and others. Message Michelle on Twitter or at Check out her personal blog.