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Renewable energy is growing in popularity across the globe, and with good reason—the benefits of renewable energy sources are widespread.  Finding alternative energy sources that don’t require the use of fossil fuels can lower energy costs for consumers, create more stable and reliable energy prices, and make electricity more available throughout the world.  Furthermore, climate change is proving to be a very expensive ordeal—costing $240 billion in economic losses in the United States alone—and renewable energy has a significantly smaller impact on climate change compared to the burning of fossil fuels. Clearly, investing in renewable energy has economic benefits.  Let’s look at how three regions around the world are faring in their journey to use more alternative energy sources.

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The development of fracking has created a revolution in the United States oil and gas industry. Following a conference in Houston, analysts have projected the U.S. to surpass Russia and Saudi Arabia to become the world's top crude exporter within the next few years. The U.S. is projected to double its gross crude oil exports to 4.2 million barrels per day by 2024. Additionally, the United States is expected to account for 70% of the total increase in global production capacity over the next 5 years. Directors for the International Energy Agency have crowned this the “Second wave of the U.S. shale revolution”. Additionally, there is a $2.5 billion project being discussed that would carry wind and solar energy from Iowa into the Chicago area. This ‘cord’ is estimated to be 349 miles long and would connect to a power grid serving 13 midwestern states.

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The past couple of years have experienced tremendous growth in renewable energy, and this is expected to continue throughout 2018.  According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), global renewable energy is expected to grow by 43%, to 920 GW by through 2022.  In 2016, about two thirds of the global net new power capacity came from renewable energy sources, and solar photovoltaic capacity grew by 50%. This is considerable growth because this allowed the growth of solar energy to exceed growth of all other fuel sources.  The world leader in renewable energy is China, which added approximately half of the growth seen in 2016.

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This is the third post in a five-part blog series focused on the energy industry.

As our world’s supply of nonrenewable resources slowly dwindles, society is being forced to consider new methods of generating energy in a continuously growing world.  A major focus has been put on turning earth’s natural products like wind, sun, and water, and additionally nuclear power, into devices of energy production.  Fifty countries agreed at the Climate Vulnerable Forum to make 100% of their energy renewable by 2050.  The construction of wind turbines, solar panels, and nuclear reactors is spearheading this dive into renewable energy while having a definite impact on business.

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This is the second post in a five-part blog series focused on the energy industry. 

Every day we face new problems arising from the environmental state of our world. Widespread pollution is a huge problem to our environment and there is an urgent need to start using renewable sources that eliminate the burning of fossil fuels. Geothermal and hydroelectric are renewable sources of energies and produce “clean” fuel sources.

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This winter, Australia gave life to business extraordinaire Elon Musk’s mega-battery, changing the scope of energy production as we know it.  The battery is the size of an American football field and powers 30,000 homes in Southern Australia and was built in the Tesla founder’s guaranteed 100-day time frame. On the heels of his accomplishment, Musk has announced another mega-battery to be built, putting on full display the growing market of batteries as the future of society’s power source.

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Clean and renewable energy has continued to gain worldwide importance and is growing at a rapid rate in today's society. Globally, almost 10 million people were employed by the renewable energy sector in 2016 alone. According to reports from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), that is a 1.1% increase from the number employed in 2015. The report indicates that the main employers in renewable energy were the United States, China, India, Brazil, and Germany, with most jobs coming from the solar power sector. Additionally, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that wind turbine service technician is the fastest-growing occupation in the United States.

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On Wednesday, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) released a report detailing trends in the renewable energy job market. Worldwide, renewable energy employed 9.8 million people last year, which is nearly twice as many compared to 2012. Wind jobs specifically grew by 28%. As global leaders, Brazil, China, Germany, India, Japan, and the United States have the highest number of renewable jobs. Global energy job growth has slowed down in recent years following solar energy declines in Japan and Europe, but IRENA Director-General, Adnan Amin, predicted that by 2030, employment will triple to 24 million.

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Recent pushes for an increase in environmental consciousness have resulted in increased demand for renewable energy. Along with the increased awareness, the Paris Climate Conference highlighted the importance and urgency behind the situation. All of the recent talk surrounding green energy is expected to significantly increase investment and production in the industry, but multiple factors are currently holding back it's success.