PHILADELPHIA – Today, City Council unanimously passed an ambitious resolution in support of increasing solar power generation within the city of Philadelphia. The resolution sets a goal of 20,000 solar roofs by 2025, and outlines policies that can be used to reach that target.
The city of Philadelphia has vast untapped solar resources, and benefits from over 200 days of sun each year. Yet the vast majority of the energy used by both the city and the state comes from dirty energy sources like coal, which pollutes our air, threatens community health, and fuels global warming.
In the week leading up to the vote, over 850 Philadelphians signed a petition in support of making Philadelphia a solar leader by committing to the goal of 20,000 solar roofs by the year 2025.
“As the mother of a 17 year old daughter, I see public policy through the prism of her future,” said Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown, the resolution’s sponsor and Chair of the City Council Committee on the Environment. “To the best of our ability, we must leave a cleaner, more sustainable planet for future generations. That requires setting ambitious goals, like producing enough solar energy to power 20,000 homes by 2025, and committing to do the necessary follow through. I look forward to working with a diverse group of stakeholders to make this goal a reality.”
Philadelphia City Councilman James Kenney, who cosponsored the resolution, stated that “increasing use of solar energy is not only important for our environment, but it can be a tremendous source of job creation right here in Philadelphia.”
Philadelphia has already laid a foundation for solar energy. In 2008 the U.S. Department of Energy designated Philadelphia as a Solar America City, and has partnered with the Mayor’s office of Sustainability to form the “Solar City Partnership,” designed to facilitate the development of solar energy within the city. Philadelphia’s efforts are part of a broader national trend, where more solar has been installed in the past 18 months than in the 30 years prior.
“Energy from the sun is pollution-free and has no fuel costs,” said Elowyn Corby, Global Warming and Clean Energy Associate at PennEnvironment. “By committing to ambitious but achievable goals, Philadelphia can reap the environmental and economic benefits of this virtually unlimited energy source.”
“Solar States would like to thank Councilwoman Reynolds Brown and PennEnvironment for working together to put forth this resolution. We are grateful that other stakeholders see the environmental and local job benefits that rooftop solar can bring to Philadelphia,” said Akil Marsh, head of Business Development at Solar States.
“The sky’s the limit on solar,” concluded Corby. “Thanks to Councilwoman Reynolds Brown and our other solar champions on city council, as well as the more than 850 Philadelphians who have already spoken out in support of this goal, we’re making a critical commitment to solar that can take it to the next level.”