In celebrating the sunniest day of the year, we want to take a second to reflect on the incredible success solar has had in recent months. Now, more than ever, it’s not hard to envision a country where solar panels are the norm, not the exception. We’ve always had the potential — enough sun hits the United States to power the country one hundred times over. But we’re finally starting to see the overwhelming grassroots support for solar translate into action.
Whether it’s cities like San Francisco mandating that new buildings have solar panels or states like Massachusetts raising caps for solar benefits, we expect solar’s exponential growth to continue. Of course, there are still parts of the country where we have work to do. From defending pro-solar policies like net metering against utility attacks in certain states to implementing even stronger solar commitments in others, we need to continue to make solar accessible to more Americans.
The clean energy revolution must include everyone, and that’s why we’ve been asking you, our supporters, to “submit your solar stories” to our website. From Washington to New York, Idaho to Kentucky, we’ve received stories from all across the country, each with a unique perspective on solar energy. Whether it was Joan from Massachusetts — a self-proclaimed senior citizen — saying “she would like to help future generations by supporting solar power now” or Jared in California saying “it’s just the right thing to,” we were inspired by the responses.
So to celebrate solar’s sunny forecast on the solstice, we wanted to share some of the highlights from your stories:
Jennifer, from Kentucky, told us she recently joined the Kentucky Solar Energy Society and said “[she] was so proud to be a part of a great group of people who are educating the public on the benefits of solar.” She also included a picture (below). Thank you Jennifer for all you do!
Dennis wrote to us from Washington to emphasize that even in “rainy Seattle,” solar is working for him. He says his panels “[generate] enough power during the spring and summer months that [his] winter bills are minimal.” This is a common misconception about solar energy — that it only works in super sunny places. He also voiced concerns about the scheduled expiration of important solar benefits in Washington, which is something that we’re seeing all around the country. Without the benefits, he says “it would be impossible for us to afford [solar panels].” It is crucial that we fight to maintain these pro-solar policies, because as Dennis says, “the economy and environment all win.”
Writing to us from Idaho, John remarked that the price of solar is “dramatically lower than 2005.” As towns, cities, and states continue to implement policies that promote solar at scale, we expect costs to continue to come down. In many places, it is now economically advantageous to make the switch to solar!
Judith, an Arizonan, brought up the tension currently taking place between solar and utilities. She says “we have the best sun on planet Earth in Arizona, and every roof should have solar.” We agree! But she pointed out that Arizona’s biggest utility is currently fighting to decrease solar benefits, which would harm solar access. Utilities are mounting similar attacks on solar all over the country, but we’re confident that with people like Judith on our side, we will come out on top.
Finally, Tamara from Idaho talked about how “easy and gratifying” it was to go solar — and even included a photo of her home! She hopes “that more people will become inspired by a better future with solar. All it takes is a little courage and ingenuity, and then we are on our way to leaving the Earth a little better for our children.”
We received many more entries than can fit in this blog post, but stay tuned — we will try to get to all of your responses. While each presented a different and important side of the solar story in the United States, all of you commented on the fact that it was imperative that we promote solar energy to solve our energy and environment problems (Ordell — MN) and to “push forward for progress” (Hillary — NY). Thank you to all who have submitted responses thus far, and we look forward to hearing from more of you in the near future.
Share your solar story here: http://bit.ly/ShareYourSolarStory.