North Carolina’s wind blows strong 

The winds off North Carolina’s coast powered the Wright Brothers’ first flight in 1903, and they’ve been going strong ever since. In fact, just over 100 years after the first flight, converting just a fraction of the winds off our shores to energy could provide all of North Carolina’s energy needs. 

North Carolina moving backwards on energy?

Despite our enormous potential for offshore wind energy, too many in North Carolina’s General Assembly are focused on the energy sources of the past — which pollute the air and water and could threaten our beaches with devastating toxic spills. At the same time, though we have more offshore wind potential than any other Atlantic Coast state, North Carolina is falling behind its neighbors when it comes to developing wind energy.

North Carolina can make history, again

The Wright Brothers’ took a giant leap forward when they took off at Kitty Hawk 108 years ago. North Carolina has an enormous opportunity to do the same with offshore wind, making our state not only “first in flight” but “first in wind.” 

The first step in charting our future in offshore wind is for North Carolina’s leaders to support extending federal tax incentives vital for both onshore and offshore wind power production.

The coal and oil lobby is urging Congress to let these tax credits expire, which would mean the loss of 37,000 jobs along with increased pollution.

That is why Environment North Carolina is calling the state’s leaders to take advantage of North Carolina’s offshore wind potential by supporting extending the wind energy tax credit.  It’s time to make history, again.

Click here to join our campaign.


Clean energy updates

News Release | Environment North Carolina Research and Policy Center

Report: 20 percent solar in reach

RALEIGH, NC –Solar power is growing so quickly in North Carolina that goals once considered ambitious are now readily achievable, according to a new report by Environment North Carolina Research & Policy Center.

“We can get to 20% solar in North Carolina by 2030 if we just keep our foot on the accelerator,” said Maya Gold, Clean Energy Associate with Environment North Carolina. “That’s a small fraction of what’s possible, but it will make a big difference in the quality of our lives and the future of our planet.”

The group’s researchers found that North Carolina’s solar capacity has grown 127% in recent years. At a fifth of this pace, solar could still generate 20% of North Carolina’s electricity within 15 years— a goal once thought improbable by many.

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Report | Environment North Carolina Research and Policy Center

Star Power

North Carolina could meet its energy needs by capturing just a sliver of the virtually limitless and pollution-free energy that strikes the state every day in the form of sunlight. With solar installation costs falling, the efficiency of solar cells rising, and the threats of air pollution and global warming ever-looming, solar power is becoming a more attractive and widespread source of energy every day.

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News Release | Environment North Carolina Research and Policy Center

North Carolina Steps Closer to Offshore Wind Energy

Washington, DC—Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced the designation of over 275,000 acres off the coast of North Carolina for offshore wind on August 11. 

“We are thrilled that the Obama administration has announced another critical step forward in making this vision a reality for America. There is tremendous potential for producing clean, pollution-free wind energy off of our coasts and over time we can expand wind energy areas much farther. ”

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News Release | Environment North Carolina Research and Policy Center

New Report Highlights Clouds in Solar Growth for North Carolina

Raleigh, NC – Over the last few years North Carolina has emerged as a national leader in solar power. But according to a new report by Environment North Carolina Research & Policy Center titled “Lighting The Way,” the story might not be as bright as often told. While North Carolina ranks fourth for solar installation in terms of overall capacity, the state ranks tenth per capita, behind cloudier states like New Jersey and Massachusetts. The report emphasizes that it is not availability of sunlight that makes states solar leaders, but the degree to which state and local governments have created effective public policy to help capture the virtually unlimited and pollution-free energy from the sun.

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Report | Environment North Carolina Research and Policy Center

Lighting the Way

Solar energy is on the rise. Over the course of the last decade, the amount of solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity in the United States has increased more than 120-fold, from 97 megawatts in 2003 to more than 12,000 megawatts at the end of 2013. In the first quarter of 2014, solar energy accounted for 74 percent of all the new electric generation capacity installed in the United States.

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