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Clean Energy: Choose Renewables First!

Our energy choices have direct implications for our health, our environment, and our climate—and right now we are dangerously dependent on coal and other fossil fuels for most of our electricity needs.

Power generation is a leading cause of air pollution and the single largest source of U.S. global warming emissions. 

Coal is the worst offender, a dirty energy source that produces less than half our electricity but more than 80 percent of all power plant carbon emissions, along with significant and harmful levels of pollutants that degrade our environment and adversely impact our health.

There’s a better, cleaner way to meet our energy needs. 

Renewable energy resources like wind and solar power generate electricity with little or no pollution and global warming emissions—and could reliably provide up to 40 percent of U.S. electricity needs within the next 20 years.

What's NEW

REPORT: Solar Power on the Rise
The technologies and policies behind a booming energy sector.    

INFOGRAPHIC: Affordable, Available Rooftop Solar
Installing rooftop solar panels has never been more affordable.

ANALYSIS: New Power Plant Carbon Standards are a Climate Game Changer 
A historic opportunity for climate action.

REPORT: How Climate Change Puts Our Electricity at Risk
America's aging electricity infrastructure is increasingly vulnerable to extreme weather.   

INFOGRAPHIC: The Climate Risks of Natural Gas
A natural gas-dominated electricity system would continue to heat up the planet.

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To move America toward a cleaner, healthier energy future, we need smart policy decisions focused on two primary goals: Increase renewable energy and decrease the use of coal. 

Where Does Our Electricity Come From?

A variety of energy sources can be used to generate electricity, including coal, natural gas, nuclear power, and renewable resources like wind, water, plants, and the sun.
More on our energy choices

Smart Energy Solutions

Government policies can either prop up dirty and dangerous energy sources like coal and nuclear power or support clean renewable electricity and increased energy efficiency—better, smarter solutions that benefit our health, our climate, and our pocketbooks.
More on smart energy solutions

Energy and Water in a Warming World

Generating electricity from energy sources like coal, biomass, and nuclear power requires water. A lot of water. This creates significant challenges and environmental costs—a problem that will only intensify as the Earth warms and water resources decline in many areas.
More on energy and water use

Energy Efficiency: The Ultimate Clean Energy

If we use energy more efficiently, we need less of it in the first place. This decreases demand for new power plants and saves money for both families and businesses. It’s a pollution- free solution that is essential for our transition to a clean energy future.
More on energy efficiency

You Can Help

  • Tell your lawmakers to support policies that emphasize renewable energy and decrease our use of coal and other fossil fuels. Take action now.
  • Join thousands of other concerned citizens who are making an effort to reduce their energy use and lower their carbon emissions by 20 percent—the collective savings have a real and meaningful impact. Learn more.
  • Support our work. UCS experts analyze and recommend energy technologies and policies that help phase out fossil fuels, reduce barriers to the adoption of renewable energy, and move America toward a sustainable clean energy economy.
    o    Become a member of UCS  
    o    Make a donation

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