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Sustainability Indicator: 18,777 Renewable Gigawatt Hours

18,777 gigawatt hours

By Tom Randall

Today's sustainability indicator, 18,777 gigawatt hours, is the average monthly electricity generated from non-hydro renewable energy in the U.S. That supplies about 5.8 percent of the country's electricity needs, compared with 3.1 percent in 2008.

This month's indicators:
213: current measure of the UN's World Food Price Index.
210: the price threshold associated with a sharp rise in social unrest and food riots.
50 percent: world transport fuels replaceable by converting 17.5% of farm waste to biofuel.
1.32 million square miles: Arctic sea ice this month, the least in 33 years of satellite records.
18 percent: decrease from the previous record-low Arctic ice, which was recorded in 2007.
330: consecutive months that global temperatures have been above the 20th century average.
626 million: people in India who still defecate in the open, contributing to superbugs.
251 million: people who gained improved sanitation in the country from 1990 to 2010.
67%: return from a portfolio based on the Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index since 2006.
31%: return of the Leadership Index's Global 500 peers during the same period.
1,079: jobs created by the average U.S. wind farm.
75,000: total workers currently employed by U.S. wind power industry.
78%: polled investors who recognize that climate change is a threat to the environment.
"Not much": anticipated impact on profits from reducing pollution, said half of respondents.
75%: world's surface that experienced unusually hot summers each year over the last decade.
33%: world's surface with hot summers in the baseline years from 1951 to 1980.
81%:U.S. energy demands met from domestic sources last year.
2: decades elapsed since the U.S. was similarly energy self-sufficient.
59%: proportion of emissions-reductions efforts that pay for themselves in 3 years.
$10 billion: annual savings on U.S. electric bills from new lightbulb standards.
30: large power plants it takes to produce electricity equivalent to the lightbulb savings.
63%: surge in new solar capacity added in Europe last year.
57%: potential decline in new solar capacity in 2012 amid economic uncertainty.
$71 billion: investment by oil industry to develop low-emission biofuels in the last decade.
$43 billion: investment by U.S. government over the same duration.
170 degrees Fahrenheit: reading on traditional black rooftops on NYC's hottest day last year.
42 degrees: temperature reduction reached by energy-efficient white roofs.
2 million: premature deaths each year from cooking with primitive stoves or open fires
#2: rank of indoor pollution from stoves among environment health risks, after unsafe water.
$1.4 trillion: spending by people over age 60 in Japan last year as the population ages.
23.3%: record proportion of Japanese population over age 65.
1.7 billion metric tons: CO2 pollution saved by the 20-year-old Energy Star program.
2 years: time it takes to generate that much pollution from electricity to all U.S. homes.
1/3: proportion of world's antibiotics consumed in India, where new superbugs were found.
35.3 gigawatts: North Sea offshore wind capacity projected by 2020.
3.2%: EU electricity demand supplied by 35.3 gigawatts.
2.5 billion: people worldwide who don't have bank accounts, which can reduce poverty
16%: banking done by mobile phones in Sub-Sahara Africa, where bank access is limited.

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-0- Sep/26/2012 23:31 GMT

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