Solar power has an important advantage that we all know well: it is able to deployed as a single solar module, or as a facility with a million modules. As such, it seems that across the United States the political push by solar power on conventional energy is occurring the same way: from the bottom, the top and the middle.
Voters say solar is their number one choice, communities are arguing for solar in their neighborhoods, cities across America are going solar, and states are pushing for 100% clean energy. And while our top politician talks about reviving the coal industry, there are plenty in the federal government in support of solar, including rooftop solar. Distributed energy generation has distributed political support.
Environment America’s letter, Mayors for Solar Energy, has now gained 216 signatures, with at least one from a city in every single state in the United States. Environment America further offers support for these mayors to help them better understand both the potential of solar and what they can do to expand access to solar in their municipalities. For instance, on October 11, the organization held a call attended by twenty eight mayors and city staff.
An excerpt from the letter (.pdf):
Accelerating the growth of solar will reduce pollution while revitalizing our communities by creating jobs and keeping energy dollars in our local economies. Expanding solar power helps residents and businesses benefit from lower energy costs while providing more local control of energy and improving our communities’ resilience.
A map (live, zoomable version) of the mayors:
- Don’t forget Hawaii & Alaska on the list!
The site includes resources to support the locals move forward:
- Ten Ways Your City Can Go Solar guide lays out steps that cities can take to adopt more solar energy.
- Environment America’s annual Shining Cities report ranks the U.S.’s largest cities in terms of their total and per capita installed solar potential.
- The Making Sense of Energy Storage report can help cities understand the role that energy storage can play in their renewable energy transition.
- Environment America’s partnership with Energy Sage to help cities find and compare solar options.
- Apply for SolSmart designation and get technical assistance in improving your solar permitting process.