Renewable energy is the fastest growing sector of our national energy mix, yet a significant portion of Americans – including millions of residential and commercial tenants – are unable to generate their own power on-site from solar, wind, and other renewables. New shared renewables arrangements change that by allowing virtually any energy customer to subscribe to an off-site renewable energy project and get utility bill credit for their portion of the power produced. By connecting more Americans with the clean energy they want, shared renewable energy programs can unleash significant new investment in clean energy, which in turn delivers job creation, public health and environmental benefits.
It’s an exciting vision for clean energy access, and one that’s quickly gaining traction across the country. This morning we launched a new website to help keep tabs on that progress – check it out! www.sharedrenewables.org
The site is designed to help clean energy advocates, industry and customers track and advance shared renewables progress nationwide. The web resource is a project of Vote Solar, managed in partnership with clean energy consultant Lee Barken. Snazzy features include:
- State-by-state map of existing shared renewable energy policies and policy proposals
- Interactive national map with information on existing shared renewable energy projects
- Education center with information about the shared renewables model and best practices in program design
Solar is growing at a record pace across the U.S. Just this month, SEIA reported that photovoltaic installations grew 76% (!!) over 2011, to total 3,313 megawatts (MW) in 2012, with an estimated market value of $11.5 billion. But the traditional panels-on-your-roof model simply doesn’t work for many homes, businesses and public sector buildings. With good policy and program design, shared renewables arrangements could offer those energy customers a pathway to clean energy for the first time. We hope you’ll use our new web resource to help advance this exciting model in your own community.
Seven states have passed shared renewables legislation, and campaigns are underway in six states and the District of Columbia to enact such legislation this year. The largest of the new proposals is in California, where we’re working to support SB 43 / AB 1014, which calls for a 500-1000 MW shared renewable energy pilot program for the Golden State. Want to learn more about California’s shared renewables campaign? There’s a website for that too! www.californiasharedrenewables.org
Vote Solar is a non-profit grassroots organization working to fight climate change and foster economic opportunity by bringing solar energy into the mainstream.