Bipartisan victories across the nation help solar shine

Bipartisan support for solar is on the rise! Maryland, Texas, and Georgia all pass new measures to further the local solar revolution, and enable communities increased access to affordable clean energy. 

In recent months, we’ve seen some momentous bipartisan victories for solar. 

We often claim, and have solid evidence to back us up, that we’ve helped win broad, cross party support for solar power among the public. But translating this bipartisan public appeal into actual victories is a tougher challenge.

That’s why we’re so encouraged by three recent victories for solar:

Maryland is a so-called “blue state” but has a Republican governor. On May 12, Gov. Larry Hogan approved the state’s first community solar program. Communities across the state will be able to invest in joint solar projects, so even if you don’t own a south-facing roof, you’ll still be able to go solar. Environment Maryland backed the bill.

Later, Georgia Republican Gov. Nathan Deal signed the Solar Freedom Act, a bill passed by Georgia’s Republican Legislature, with Tea Party support, allowing state residents to lease their roofs to solar companies. This is how people can go solar with ‘no money down,’ as happens now here in Massachusetts and other states. “Today is good day for rooftop solar in Georgia,” said Jennette Gayer, Director of Environment Georgia. “Solar power has been on a roll in Georgia, we supported this legislation because it will make it easier for homes and businesses to put solar on their roof.”

Finally, in red-state Texas, the city council in North Richland Hills voted to 6 to 1 to overturn itself and repeal an ordinance that limited solar power after Impact organizer Anne Clark helped organize the community against it.

Politics is the art of the possible. These victories prove that it’s possible to win big for solar, not just in the liberal enclaves of San Francisco, Boulder and Boston, but anywhere the sun shines — i.e. everywhere.