Environment America helps the US go solar

By William Girling
As one of the largest energy markets in the world, the US has potential to lead the renewable revolution and

As one of the largest energy markets in the world, the US has potential to lead the renewable revolution and Environment America is helping it happen.

Unveiling its ‘10 ways your community can go solar’ campaign, the organisation has outlined some achievable steps that communities, businesses, towns and cities can adopt to make their home more eco-friendly:

  1. In line with similar corporate aims to achieve net-zero carbon by 2030 or 2050, cities should also establish ambitious targets.

  2. Powering public buildings with solar energy.

  3. Overhauling permitting and legislation to make infrastructural changes easier.

  4. Incorporating solar panels into the design of new houses/buildings.

  5. Organise local financing options and incentives for sustainable infrastructure. 

  6. Purchase solar panels in bulk, therefore lowering the cost.

  7. Foster a community spirit to develop solar projects.

  8. Encourage local authorities to work closely with utility companies.

  9. Establish municipal utilities or community choice aggregation (CCA).

  10. Support state-level policies that aim to develop solar power.

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Powering America from East to West

Although the US has seen a general upsurge in solar power adoption, Environment America’s scheme will be useful to even out the disparate commitment across the country. 

A study by the Solar Energy Industries Association underscores the inconsistency: California - the leading state for solar power - has a capacity of 26,232MW, whilst North Carolina - the second-largest - has a much smaller output of 5,662MW (almost 80% less).

“Solar energy is clean, abundant, close to home and more affordable than ever. It should be a no-brainer for communities to go solar,” said Ben Sonnega, an associate with Environment America.

“American cities are already forging ahead with tried and true policies that quickly bring the benefits of solar. We want to help other cities learn from those examples and continue propelling the transition to renewable energy.”

So far, the US cities leading the way in solar power installations in 2020 are Los Angeles, Calfornia (215MW), San Diego, California (189MW) and Phoenix, Arizona (147MW).

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