6 key trends in sustainable and renewable energy

The 2019 Sustainable Energy in America factbook was released this week by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BloombergNEF) and the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE). The factbook highlights a number of key trends in sustainable and renewable energy growth, emissions and jobs in the sector. Take a glance at the charts below to learn more.


Gas and renewables are pushing out coal. Natural gas and renewable energy generated 53 percent of U.S. electricity in 2018, up from 35 percent in 2009. This trend is expected to continue.

Wind and solar dominate renewable growth. Wind and solar capacity has more than quadrupled since 2009 (from 36.2 GW to 164.6 GW in 2018). More on wind in 2019 and 2020 here.

Transportation sector emissions are now greater than power sector emissions and overall carbon emissions rose in 2018. 

EV sales are rising quickly. EVs accounted for 1.3 percent of total vehicles sold in the U.S in the 4th quarter of 2017. By the third quarter in 2018, that had nearly doubled to 2.5 percent, then hit 3 percent by the fourth quarter. Total growth was over over 80 percent in 2018. There are now more than 350,000 EVs on the road and the number of charging sites grew 28 percent.

Clean energy (including natural gas) and energy efficiency support over 3 million American jobs.


Corporates continue to drive the growth of renewable energy. Facebook was the largest corporate offtaker for solar in 2018. AT&T was the largest corporate offtaker for wind.


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Jennifer Runyon
Jennifer Runyon has been studying and reporting about the world's transition to clean energy since 2007. As editor of the world's largest renewable energy publication, Renewable Energy World, she observed, interviewed experts about, and reported on major clean energy milestones including Germany's explosive growth of solar PV, the formation and development of the U.S. onshore wind industry, the U.K. offshore wind boom, China's solar manufacturing dominance, the rise of energy storage, the changing landscape for utilities and grid operators and much, much, more. You can reach her at Jennifer.Runyon@ClarionEvents.com Today, in addition to managing content on Renewable Energy World and POWERGRID International, she also serves as the conference advisory committee chair for DISTRIBUTECH, a globally recognized conference and expo for the transmission and distribution industry. In her role, she works in close cooperation with a large team of committed industry executives to shape the educational content for the event. She also helps assemble the renewable energy content for POWERGEN and helped launch the first Grid-Scale Storage Summit, a co-located event at HYDROVISION International. She has traveled to Germany to see onshore and offshore wind installations; Iceland to see geothermal energy in action; and France to see cutting-edge smart grids. In the U.S. she has visited and reported about bioenergy power plants in Florida, both large-scale and small-scale hydropower; and multiple wind farms, solar PV, and CSP installations. Formerly, she was the managing editor of Innovate Forum, an online publication that focused on innovation in manufacturing. Prior to that she was the managing editor at Desktop Engineering magazine. In 2008, she won an "Eddy Award" for her editing work on an article about solar trees in Vienna. In 2010, RenewableEnergyWorld.com was awarded an American Business Media Neal Award for its eNewsletters, which were created under her direction. She holds a Master's Degree in English Education from Boston University and a BA in English from the University of Virginia.

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