It’s time to double down on solar power

More and more Americans are going solar, meeting more of our energy needs in a way that’s clean, local and independent. 

  • Solar power has tripled in the U.S. in the last two years, with another American family or business going solar every four minutes.
  • That’s in part because the price of solar has dropped more than 50 percent since 2011. 
  • The chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said that “solar is growing so fast it is going to overtake everything ... It could double every two years.”

Who's so afraid of a little more sun?

Unfortunately, solar’s rapid growth has some dirty energy companies alarmed. Now they’re putting up new roadblocks to solar at every turn—so they can keep solar generating less than 1% of our power, even if the consequences are more pollution and more global warming.

Here are just a few examples:

  • Charles and David Koch, owners of the oil conglomerate Koch Industries, and their allies have spent heavily to impose new taxes on homeowners who go solar—in effect, penalizing those who reduce their pollution and their carbon footprint.
  • The Edison Electric Institute, which represents electric utility companies, has teamed up with the American Legislative Exchange Council to dismantle state pro-solar laws in Kansas, North Carolina and Washington State, amid others.
  • Oklahoma, Arizona and Ohio already have moved to scale back their solar programs

Fending off dirty energy attacks 

The good news? People from all walks of life are standing up for solar, from environmentalists to Tea Party activists, from solar entrepreneurs to Barry Goldwater, Jr., son of the former Republican nominee for president.

Our challenge now is to not only fend off the attacks of the dirty energy lobby, but to keep the surge in solar power growing strong.  

Our research shows that the cities and states with the most solar power aren’t just the ones with the most sunshine; they’re also states with smart pro-solar policies.

  • Arizona, Hawaii and California made the list of the top 10 states for solar in our 2014 report. But so do Massachusetts, New Jersey and Vermont, all thanks to smart policies.
  • The top 10 solar states, with only 26% of the nation’s population, were responsible for 89% of the nation’s solar power.
  • Our report found all or nearly all of the states shared a set of smart policies in common, from strong clean energy standards to policies that let solar homeowners sell their extra power back to the utilities.

10% percent by 2025: A bold but achievable goal

We need more pro-solar policies, not fewer. That’s why we’re our state leaders to make commitments that will help Rhode Island generate 10% of our energy from the sun by 2025. 

Our national federation is working in 14 states to set bold solar goals that together will make sure we get 10% of the nation's energy from solar by 2030. Achieving this goal would have produce immediate and long-lasting benefits, generating enough clean energy to replace half of our nation’s coal-fired power plants and more than half the energy we use today to fuel our cars. 

If we take the right steps today, even the dirty energy lobby won’t be able to stop solar power. The sky really is the limit.

 

Issue updates

Report | Environment Rhode Island

Lighting the Way

Solar energy is on the rise. America has more than three times as much solar photovoltaic capacity today as in 2010, and more than 10 times as much as in 2007. In the first three months of 2013, solar power accounted for nearly half of the new electricity generating capacity in the United States.

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News Release | Environment Rhode Island

Gov. Chafee signs off on new program to help residents invest in clean energy

Governor Chafee signed a bill that will significantly expand opportunities for Ocean State homeowners to invest in clean energy options.  The bill establishes a Property Assessed Clean Energy financing program that will provide Ocean State homeowners with financing for the upfront costs of energy improvements like energy efficiency and rooftop solar, and will save them money over time by lowering or even eliminating fuel costs.   

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News Release | Environment Rhode Island

Business and groups ask Gov. Chafee for 10,000 solar rooftops in Rhode Island

As Governor Chafee and state officials consider changes to Rhode Island's renewable energy policies, Environment Rhode Island announced an open letter signed by twenty-seven clean energy businesses and organizations asking Gov. Chafee to set targets of "10,000 solar rooftops in Rhode Island by the year 2020 and 50,000 by 2030".

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News Release | Environment Rhode Island Research & Policy Center

Northeast States Can Make Huge Difference in Tackling Climate-Altering Pollution

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) is a central strategy in the Northeastern states’ efforts to protect the region from global warming. Now, nine Northeastern states are considering strengthening RGGI to drive additional reductions in global warming pollution. According to a new Environment Rhode Island Research & Polcy Center report, strengthening RGGI would be a “win-win” for the Northeast, making an important contribution toward protecting the region from global warming while speeding the transition to a clean energy future.

> Keep Reading
Report | Environment Rhode Island Research & Policy Center

A Double Success: Tackling Global Warming While Growing the Economy with an Improved Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) is a central strategy in the Northeastern states’ efforts to protect the region from global warming. Now, nine Northeastern states are considering strengthening RGGI to drive additional reductions in global warming pollution. Strengthening RGGI would be a “win-win” for the Northeast, making an important contribution toward protecting the region from global warming while speeding the transition to a clean energy future.

> Keep Reading

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