BOSTON -- With local municipalities playing an increasingly important role in the clean energy revolution, Environment America Research and Policy Center released a new toolkit today to support cities and towns nationwide in capturing more clean renewable energy from the sun. Ten Ways Your Community Can Go Solar offers practical ways to take advantage of millions of available rooftops across the country.
“If we’re going to forestall catastrophic climate change and protect our cities and towns from the effects of extreme weather, there’s nothing better than clean, locally harvested renewable power,” said Susan Rakov, chair of Environment America Research and Policy Center’s Clean Energy Program. “Rooftop solar can make communities cleaner, safer and more self-reliant. Cities and towns need to put the pieces in place to help this technology thrive.”
Based on lessons learned from Environment America Research and Policy Center’s Go Solar campaign, Ten Ways Your Community Can Go Solar details how cities can lead by example, expand access, remove obstacles and work with other institutions to harness solar energy. In addition to the toolkit, Environment America Research and Policy Center is holding a webinar series to discuss tactics for boosting local solar energy development.
"We're seeing great progress in cities throughout the U.S., such as Boston, Jacksonville, San Antonio and Kansas City, Missouri" said Emma Searson, Go Solar advocate with Environment America Research and Policy Center. "Still, some places need help getting started, or have hit roadblocks at some step along the way. And some top solar cities could take their energy leadership to another level. We want to help those communities achieve their full solar potential, by giving them tools that allow them to learn from each other’s experiences."
The toolkit builds on efforts presently underway at Environment America Research and Policy Center. As part of its Go Solar campaign, the organization is identifying and assisting 50 cities in thinking bigger with bold renewable energy commitments and smart policies and programs to tap the sun for more power. The campaign also includes the Mayors for Solar Energy letter, a bipartisan statement signed by 235 mayors to date representing cities in all 50 states. Together, these leaders are calling for more solar energy to power American communities.
“The Mayors for Solar Energy all agree that local renewable power is crucial to meeting the current and future needs of their communities,” Searson said. “The tools, case studies and resources included in this toolkit are intended to make it easier for communities to take advantage of this clean and plentiful resource and transition away from dirty energy sources for good.”
Municipalities across the country are already showing the viability of going solar. In 2017, 20 U.S. cities produced more solar energy than the entire nation did in 2010. Research has shown that good policy is even more important for solar success than the availability of sunshine. And, effective public policies that help electric providers, businesses and residents access more solar energy can set leading cities apart from the rest.
Environment America Research & Policy Center is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to protecting our air, water and open spaces. We work to protect the places we love, advance the environmental values we share, and win real results for our environment. Environment America Research & Policy Center is part of The Public Interest Network, which runs organizations committed to our vision of a better world, a set of core values, and a strategic approach to getting things done.