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Attention Jeb Bush: America's Transition to a Renewable Energy Economy Is Already Underway

Politics

During a town hall meeting on Thursday, former Governor of the Sunshine State and presidential candidate Jeb Bush acknowledged that “I do think we’re going to get to a renewable energy economy” but that we were still waiting on “the disruptive technologies” to be invented to get us there.

Bush went on say that "there’s someone in a garage somewhere … there’s someone in a dorm in a college that’s about ready to say I’m bored to tears and I’m going to go reinvent the wheel. There is someone that is preparing to disrupt the old order in energy.”

Watch the video here:

What Bush fails to recognize is the fact that Americans are already feeling the impacts of climate change and Citigroup estimates that failing to address climate change would cost the global economy as much as $44 trillion by 2060.

Fortunately, the transition to a clean energy economy is already underway—and we don’t have to wait for a man in a garage or a college student in a dorm to build our clean energy future.

Nationally, we are seeing clean energy starting to compete head-to-head with fossil fuels—and win. In the first half of 2015, renewable energy accounts for more than two-thirds of new electricity generation capacity across the U.S. In the key presidential state of Iowa, wind already supplies more than 28 percent of the state's electricity—and data shows that the state could increase to more than 40 percent in the next five years.

All across this country the clean energy revolution is already happening. The fact is the tens of thousands of people who work in wind and solar know that we don’t have to wait for clean energy technology to be invented. The American people and business are doing their part—now we need leaders like Jeb Bush to step up and embrace the solutions that we know already exist and will accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy.

Increasing renewable energy is translating to real savings for consumers. According to a recent analysis by DBL Investors, the average retail electricity price in leading renewables states is 5 percent lower than the price in the states that are furthest behind. The solar expansion has spread beyond the usual suspects, with states like North Carolina and Texas, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York included among the 10 states with the most solar installations last year. Likewise, Midwestern states like Iowa and South Dakota are leading the nation in wind generation market share, getting more than 25 percent of their in-state energy from wind. As renewables approach cost parity with fossil fuels, and in many cases become less expensive, electric utilities are learning how to integrate more and more clean sources into regular operations. For example, in 2015 Austin Energy recorded the lowest bids ever seen for a utility solar solicitation when it received 1,200 megawatts of solar bids for less than 4 cents/kilowatt hour.

NextGen Climate is calling on Bush to acknowledge that the transition to clean energy is already underway and lay out a concrete plan to accelerate this transition and achieve more than 50 percent clean energy by 2030.

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