Fact Checks

  • FACT: Renewables yield significant environmental benefits when compared to fossil fuels, even when resource acquisition and land use are taken into account.

  • Less than .1% of all bird fatalities in North America are attributable to wind turbines. (USA Today, September 2014, http://usat.ly/XvbNsO)

  • Wind energy permanently disturbs less than 1 acre of land per megawatt produced. (National Renewable Energy Laboratory, August 2009, http://1.usa.gov/1o9idKR)

  • The production of renewable energy equipment and materials does not increase carbon emissions or pollution. And only 2 years’ worth of global copper supply is necessary to meet the world’s energy needs with renewable energy by 2050. (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, September 2014, http://bit.ly/1u11J3P)

  • 60% of Americans live in regions where an EV produces fewer global warming emissions than the most efficient gasoline-hybrid vehicle. (Union of Concerned Scientists, September 2014, http://bit.ly/XC1H9M)

  • The overall reduction in emissions from increased renewable energy deployment more than offsets the requisite increase in fossil fuel plant emissions from power plant cycling. (National Renewable Energy Laboratory, September 2013, http://1.usa.gov/1xPbypy)

  • The U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan will yield $55 billion - $93 billion in health benefits when it is fully implemented, preventing 2,700 to 6,600 premature deaths and 140,000 to 150,000 asthma attacks a year. (Washington Post, June 2, http://wapo.st/1rVhqYM)

  • Solar energy and wind energy consume no water, whereas coal power requires 100 - 1,100 gallons per Mw/h produced, nuclear requires 600 - 800 gallons per Mw/h, and natural gas requires 20 - 300 gallons per Mw/h. (Pure Energies, http://bit.ly/1sEHmvs)

  • Refining a gallon of ethanol requires half as much water as refining a gallon of gasoline. (Regional Water Supply Planning Committee, http://bit.ly/1Dr27jb)

  • The U.S. can decrease power-sector water consumption by 85% if it meets 80% of its energy demand with renewables and energy efficiency from 2014-2050. (Union of Concerned Scientists, July 2013, http://bit.ly/1w0Hff5)

  • Generating 80% of the world’s electricity from clean energy sources by 2050 would keep atmospheric greenhouse gas concentration at a safe and manageable level. This would cost only 1% of global GDP annually. (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, May 2012, http://bit.ly/1DiTUNV)

  • Biofuels produced from corn stover reduce carbon emissions by 90% - 103%, compared to gasoline.  (Environmental Research Letters, December 2012, http://bit.ly/1reJPLT)

  • Wind energy reduced U.S. power-sector carbon emissions by 4.4% in 2013. (Huffington Post, April 2014, http://huff.to/1CIQkdP)

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