fact check

Claim: The advanced biofuels industry will never significantly contribute to our fuel supply. Plus, advanced biofuels are no better for the environment than gasoline.

Fact: Despite intense policy uncertainty, advanced biofuels reached an inflection point in 2014, spurring sustainable economic growth and reducing our reliance on foreign oil. Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: The Department of Defense shouldn’t be investing in renewable energy. It costs taxpayers money and doesn’t improve warfighting ability.

Fact: The Department of Defense has clearly stated that its reliance on fossil fuels is a threat to installations and troop security. DOD knows that renewable energy will save lives and money, and make our military more secure. Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: Offshore wind energy has nothing to offer the U.S. It’s too expensive and it doesn’t help the economy. Europe regrets its investments in offshore wind.

Fact: Offshore wind energy in the U.S. has immense potential to spur job growth and power a significant amount of the country with cost-effective electricity. Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: Businesses know renewable energy is a bad investment.

Fact: More companies and investors are investing in clean energy than ever before, and significant cost reductions have ensured they’re getting more “bang for their buck.” Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: The EPA’s new Clean Power Plan limiting power plant carbon emissions is unnecessary. It will raise electricity rates and hurt our economy.

Fact: The EPA’s Clean Power proposal will create jobs, deliver significant health benefits, and reduce electricity costs. Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: Wind power isn’t a significant part of America’s energy portfolio.

Fact: Wind power has proven itself, generating more gigawatts than ever and delivering low-cost energy to consumers across the country every day. Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: Distributed generation and net metering policies harm utilities and provide no benefits to ratepayers.

Fact: Distributed generation and net energy metering provide economic, environmental, and technical benefits to both utilities and ratepayers. Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: Government support for renewable energy is costly, ineffective, and more significant than support for conventional fossil fuels.

Fact: Fossil fuels have received far greater government support, over a much longer period of time, than renewables have. Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: Energy efficiency measures are too costly and won’t make a difference in how much energy we consume.

Fact: Energy efficiency is a low-cost, job-creating method for significantly reducing U.S. energy demand. Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: The renewable energy and clean tech industries don’t create jobs.

Fact: Renewable energy and clean tech industries have spurred significant job creation in the United States. Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: The Renewable Fuel Standard is a drain on the economy and its goals cannot be met without running into the “blend wall.” The EPA is correct to propose reducing it for 2014.

Fact: The Renewable Fuel Standard creates jobs, lowers gasoline prices, and fights climate change. The EPA’s proposal to lower biofuel volume requirements will harm a thriving American industry. Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: 2013 was a tough year for renewable energy.

Fact: Renewable energy is cheaper, more popular and powering more of America than ever before. Here are the top 13 facts of 2013.

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Claim: Only liberals support renewable energy.

Fact: Renewable energy enjoys strong bipartisan support from conservatives, liberals, and independents alike. Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: The Northeast doesn’t have much renewable energy. It’s too costly to develop and the weather in the region isn’t suitable for wind or solar.

Fact: The Northeast has reaped many benefits from renewable energy sources, and the region is well-positioned to rely on renewables more heavily. Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: Electric vehicles are inherently unsafe and prone to battery fires. The three recently-reported Tesla Model S fires are proof of this danger.

Fact: Electric vehicles are just as safe as traditional gas-powered vehicles, if not safer, as many tests show. Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: California’s push for renewable energy has failed, leading to some of the highest electricity prices in the country and hurting the economy.

Fact: California is leading the nation in numerous clean energy categories and the costs are negligible. By embracing renewables and energy efficiency, CA built an attractive business environment to draw billions of investment dollars and thousands of new jobs. Get the Facts

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Claim: Distributed generation (DG) is a niche market for rich, “off-the-grid” enthusiasts. DG increases costs for all ratepayers while also making the grid unreliable.

Fact: Distributed generation – electricity produced and consumed onsite – is growing quickly. In many places, rooftop solar, geothermal and other technologies are providing power to property owners and lowering costs while increasing the resilience of the electric grid. Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: Offshore wind is far too expensive to develop and it would never provide enough power to justify the investment.

Fact: Today, 12 countries across the world are already generating offshore wind energy. Offshore wind represents one of America’s greatest untapped energy resources, even as the costs are coming down rapidly. Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: Energy efficiency is unproven and expensive to implement, and forcing companies and individuals to enact energy efficient practices is bad policy.

Fact: Energy efficiency can save billions of dollars and is already creating hundreds of thousands of jobs. Energy efficiency programs have massive potential benefits for the economy and improvements to how we use our energy.Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: Power companies don’t like renewable energy because it’s bad for business. They stick to fossil fuels to provide power to their customers.

Fact: Many electricity companies around the U.S. are big fans of renewables. Right now, millions of customers are powering their homes and businesses with clean, inexpensive renewable energy. Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: The Renewable Fuel Standard is costly, mandates unrealistic fuels and takes away the incentive for biofuel producers to lower costs and grow the industry.

Fact: The Renewable Fuel Standard supports a rapidly expanding biofuels industry, producing modern fuels that lower gas prices, lower carbon emissions and produce jobs and economic investment. Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: Solar is a niche energy market that’s only good for powering off-the-grid homes. It’s too expensive and solar companies are completely bankrupt.

Fact: Solar is growing incredibly quickly, the costs are dropping and millions of homeowners are enjoying the benefits of distributed solar. And, solar is proving to be a smart business investment. Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: The only energy innovators that matter are in the fossil fuel sector. Renewables aren’t innovating and that’s why they’re so expensive.

Fact: Innovation is everywhere in the renewables sector and is driving down costs to reach cost parity with old and new fossil fuel technologies. Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: Wind energy can’t provide enough power to keep the lights on and will always remain a niche industry that the private sector has no interest in.

Fact: Wind is already powering millions of homes around the U.S., providing thousands of American manufacturing jobs and continuing to attract private investors – all while becoming the largest source of new power in 2012. Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: Fisker Automotive, Solyndra and other struggling green energy companies backed by Department of Energy loans are evidence that the government wastes money trying to pick “winners.”

Fact: The DOE loan guarantee program is an overwhelmingly successful program that played a critical role in the development of new renewable energy technologies by offering long-term capital when private financing was not available. Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: With cheap, abundant natural gas and coal, expensive renewables are unnecessary. Utilities should stick with these fuels instead of having to deploy new, more expensive renewable resources.

Fact: Natural gas costs have a history of high volatility while renewable prices are continuing to decrease, allowing for long-term pricing. The prices of renewable energy resources are already starting to beat coal prices and utilities are trading coal for renewables across the country. Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: Renewable energy subsidies prop up an otherwise economically-unviable industry. We should “level the playing field” by removing clean energy handouts and let renewables compete with fossil fuels.

Fact: All energy production in the U.S. receives significant federal support, dating back to the first oil subsidies in early 20th century. Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: The environmental benefits of renewable energy are wildly overstated.

Fact: Renewable energy technologies are by far the cleanest source of power on the planet, even accounting for environmental impact costs. As more renewables power the grid, our energy supply becomes less polluting and everyone benefits. Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: Renewable energy only represents a tiny bit of our power supply and will never be able to meet America’s power needs. Renewables will always be a fringe technology, only powering a handful of cars and off-the-grid homes.

Fact: Renewable energy is already a mainstream industry that is powering millions of American homes and businesses while employing thousands of workers. Many renewable sectors are experiencing unprecedented growth and continue to lower costs for consumers. Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: State Renewable Portfolio Standards are job-killing government mandates that offer no economic benefits and cause skyrocketing electricity rates.

Fact: State RPS policies are currently driving over 1/3rd of new renewable energy development across America in a cost-competitive manner that protects American consumers. Repealing these policies will risk billions in private investment and threatens hundreds of thousands jobs in 29 states plus the District of Columbia. Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: Biofuels are too expensive for military use, bad for cars and will never be produced in large enough quantities for consumer use. The Renewable Fuel Standard encourages the use of food for fuel and should be ended.

Fact: Biofuels are too expensive for military use, bad for cars and will never be produced in large enough quantities for consumer use. The Renewable Fuel Standard encourages the use of food for fuel and should be ended. . Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: Renewable energy is unreliable and must be continually backed up by fossil fuels for times when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine.

Fact: Renewable energy is more than capable of providing steady, reliable electricity for consumers in a variety of scenarios. As storage technology advances, any remaining challenges with constant output will soon become a thing of the past. Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: Investment in renewable energy is in a downward spiral and major banks and institutional investors are cutting back their clean tech portfolios. Private investors do not believe in renewable energy.

Fact: Investment in clean and renewable energy is at record levels across the private sector. Clean technology is the leading venture capital category and many major Wall Street banks have dedicated, multi-billion dollar clean tech portfolios.Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: Electric Vehicles (EVs) are unpopular, unaffordable and unsafe.

Fact: EVs are selling fast, saving consumers money, creating jobs and are just as safe as the average gas-fueled vehicle. Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: The PTC is a government subsidy that doesn’t really help the wind industry grow and hasn’t resulted in jobs or economic activity since its inception.

Fact: The PTC is a credit used by businesses to expand their renewable electricity generation capability and provide jobs and expand the market for renewable electricity.Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: Energy efficiency standards do not result in significant energy savings or lower costs for certified buildings.

Fact: Rigorous, market-based standards such as the LEED program have achieved significant energy, water, and cost savings in buildings. Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: America doesn’t need improvements to our electric grid; we have one that works just fine and new transmission drives up electrical bills. We are also “overbuilding” to help renewables that aren’t even in service yet.

Fact: The current grid is outdated and new transmission will increase efficiency, open access to cheaper renewable energy and ultimately save consumers money.Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: People near wind turbines suffer from headaches, sleeplessness, and other negative side effects.

Fact: No credible medical source has verified these affects, and sound experts have criticized such claims.Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: Renewable energy technologies use just as much water as traditional energy consumption and are unsuitable for drier regions.

Fact: On the whole, renewable energy uses far less water than traditional energy sources, and mainstream wind and solar PV technologies use little to no water. Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: Renewable Portfolio Standards will not help our energy needs and puts an undue burden on the taxpayers.

Fact: State RPS policies are widely credited with lowering costs, bring better renewable energy tech to the market and opportunities for local businesses.Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: Renewable energy development decimates wildlife and will lead to the extinction of endangered species.

Fact: Renewable energy development is environmentally friendly and less damaging to wildlife than traditional energy.Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: Even with massive subsidies, renewable energy technology cannot survive. Renewables have been getting subsidies for years now; they should be able to stand on their own.

Fact: All energy production in the U.S. receives significant federal support, dating back to the first oil subsidies in early 20th century. Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: Renewable energy is too expensive and drives up electricity and fuel prices.

Fact: Renewable energy is reducing Americans’ energy bills from coast to coast – at home and at the gas pump. Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: Wind farms are a threat to bird populations – and their harmful effect on bird populations is only getting worse as more wind farms are built.

Fact: Wind energy has been shown to be responsible for less than 3 out of every 100,000 bird deaths caused by humans and household pets like cats. Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: Wind energy is too expensive and can’t compete with other sources of electricity.

Fact: Wind is one of the most cost-effective sources of new electricity generation in the United States. Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: The stimulus bill’s support for clean, renewable energy sent jobs overseas.

Fact: The stimulus has supported tens of thousands of American jobs and billions of dollars in investment for renewable energy technologies. Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: The Obama administration is forcing the U.S. Navy to use unproven biofuels.

Fact: The Department of Defense's biofuels initiative began in 2006 and our nation's military leaders have said these fuels are critical to strengthening the military's energy security. Get the facts.

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Claim: Offshore wind energy is too expensive and can’t compete with traditional power sources to help meet our energy needs.

Fact: Studies that show U.S. offshore wind production has large untapped potential, could create more than 40,000 jobs, and that projects like Cape Wind would lower the wholesale price of power. Get the Facts.

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Claim: The Department of Energy’s Loan Guarantee Program is wasting taxpayer money. Abound Solar’s bankruptcy is proof of that.

Fact: The Program was created with bipartisan support, has outperformed expectations, and driven a new wave of private investment in solar. Get the Facts.

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Claim: Renewable energy doesn’t create jobs and raises electricity costs.

Fact: Get the facts on jobs, costs and key policies.

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Claim: No one is investing in renewable energy.

Fact: In 2011, more than $48 billion was invested in renewable energy in the United States. Click here to learn more about investment in renewable energy.

The Daily Update

How the West Was Won and How Congress Can Win America’s Energy Future

Roll Call— September 30th, 2014

Featuring the 21st century bonanza in the West, a new report released at the recent Renewable Energy Finance Forum details the rapid spread of renewable energy across the western states. This study by the American Council On Renewable Energy solidifies a theme familiar to the West — lucrative opportunities are drawing droves of pioneers, investors, and entrepreneurs to lay claim to abundant western resources.

Solar Power Could be World’s Main Energy Source by 2050

Fortune— September 30th, 2014

By mid-century, the sun could be the largest source of energy and help reign in global warming by preventing the release of billions of tons of carbon dioxide emissions, according to a new report from the International Energy Agency.

Mass. ‘Clean Energy’ Sector Keeps Growing, Report Says

Boston Globe— September 30th, 2014

The state defines the sector broadly, encompassing everything from advanced technology to home insulation. The report, by the Wrentham office of California-based firm BW Research Partnership, estimates that clean energy firms employed about 88,000 people in the fiscal year ended June 30, up 10.5 percent from the nearly 80,000 who worked in the industry in the previous fiscal year.

IRENA: Biomass Could be 60% of World’s Renewable Energy

Domestic Fuel— September 30th, 2014

Biomass could make up 60 percent of the world’s renewable energy sources – one-fifth of the globe’s total energy supply – by the year 2030. That’s according to a new report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), which forecasts a major role for modern, sustainable biomass technologies in the report titled, “Global Bioenergy Supply and Demand Projections for the Year 2030.”

Fort Drum Project to Provide 100 Percent of the Installation’s Energy Requirements

U.S. Army— September 30th, 2014

The U.S. Army has awarded a contract for up to 100 percent of Fort Drum’s on-site energy requirements to ReEnergy Black River LLC, a subsidiary of ReEnergy Holdings LLC.

Why the Northwest Is the New Frontier For Geothermal Energy

Jefferson Public Radio— September 29th, 2014

The Geothermal Energy Association chose to hold its annual meeting in Portland this year, and leaders say that’s in part because they see the Pacific Northwest as a new frontier for the industry.

 

Tour Shines Light on Popularity of Green Energy Systems

Columbus Dispatch— September 29th, 2014

Next weekend’s Ohio Green Energy Tour will showcase an innovation in solar panels: leasing.

Wisconsin Utilities Shouldn’t Limit Clean Energy Choice

Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel— September 29th, 2014

Three Wisconsin utilities — We Energies, Madison Gas & Electric and Wisconsin Public Service Corp. — are pushing for policies that harm the ability of businesses and homeowners to adopt solar energy. Specifically, third-party leasing and net metering face a severe setback pending a decision by the state’s Public Service Commission. On the surface, the efforts of Wisconsin’s utilities may seem innocuous. Yes, the terms are technical, but the impact would be significant for the state.