One of the most compelling virtues of solar energy is the opportunity for freedom and independence. Solar means you don’t have to wait for the utility or other powers-that-be to do the right thing…you can take matters into your own hands and do it yourself. It’s democracy in energy decision-making in action.
So this 4th of July, we’d like to take a moment to celebrate some recent solar successes in the name of preserving solar rights, providing freedom from the tyranny of pollution, and allowing Americans to pursue the kind of power they want.
Our Thomas Jefferson, if you will, in this revolution is a municipal utility with a goal of 100% carbon-free power. After buying 80 MW of solar at mind-blowingly low rates of 6.9 cents/kWh,the utility is now on-track to achieve 48% renewables by 2017. If you want to learn how they did it, we have a webinar scheduled for July 24. America, we can do this.
The California Legislature, playing the role of Ben Franklin, advanced an innovative new Shared Renewables program — a way for renters and others that don’t have their own roof to participate in the solar economy. If you want to lead a similar charge in other states, check out the new Shared Renewables Model Rules we just released with IREC.
In New York (Lewis Morris, natch), the state tripled the net metering cap – clearing the way for many more New Yorkers to use solar and other renewables to meet their own energy needs. And we expect more solar greatness still to come from this home of Lady Liberty.
Minnesota (umm, John Adams?) did the peoples’ will and passed sweeping new renewable energy policy that included 450 MW of strong solar provisions. Colorado also doubled its renewable renewable energy goal.
And we beta launched Project Permit, a new campaign to empower Americans nationwide to cut red tape and reduce solar permitting costs in their own communities.
It’s worth noting that this fight for solar freedom faces an incredibly well-funded opposition. Big Fossil isn’t going down without a fight. Read this article about how the Koch brothers are fighting to make sure that Congress protects their profits–at the expense of our children’s future. If your blood isn’t boiling by the end of it, call your doctor, because you don’t have a pulse…
But you know what? They are losing. This USA Today article does a great job chronicling the renewable roll-back that wasn’t. If history tells us anything, it’s don’t bet against the American people.