Renewable energy no threat to electric grid, as Trump aides claim

By David Hochschild and David Olsen | San Francisco Chronicle Link to article

In 1986, President Ronald Reagan famously removed solar panels from the White House roof, capping a misguided energy policy that severely slashed investment in renewable energy. Thirty-one years later, President Trump has committed a more consequential mistake by rejecting the Paris climate accord. But the story of how solar energy survived and thrived after Reagan holds an encouraging lesson for us.

After Reagan, states such as California stepped up and invested heavily in solar research, development and market incentives. Despite being slowed by a reduction in federal support, the progress over time was dramatic. Since Reagan’s election, the price of solar panels has fallen by 99 percent. Last year, solar energy was the single largest source of new electricity generation added to our nation’s electric grid, contributing about 40 percent of the total. Solar energy provides jobs for 260,000 people in America, compared to just 65,000 by the coal mining industry. Wind energy, which followed a similar trajectory, now employs more than 100,000 U.S. workers.

Bold leadership to combat climate change in the United States will not come from Washington, D.C., but from a combination of state and local efforts. But for these efforts to succeed, one falsehood must be debunked immediately. (Link to article)