Amidst all the hubbub around the Presidential debates, we thought we’d use this edition to set the record straight. When it comes to these solar facts, there’s no debate:
Everybody loves solar
Well, ok, not everybody, but the HUGE majority of Americans. A new study conducted by Hart Research on behalf of SEIA, shows 92 percent of voters think it’s important for the US to develop and use more solar energy. When’s the last time 92% of Americans agreed on anything?! That majority support remains strong among Democrats, Republicans, Independents and swing voters alike.
You *can* vote solar (well, some of you can)
This election season, two states will face votes with major implications for their local solar economies. First is Proposal 3 in Michigan, which would increase the state’s renewable standard to 25% by 2025. This is important for bringing cleaner air, more jobs and healthier communities to Michiganders – but it’s also critically important on the national stage as an important reminder that, divisive politics of our national election aside, voters resoundingly support clean energy.
Second are the Arizona Corporation Commission elections. AZ is one of just a few states that elects its utility regulators, a body of five Commissioners which have authority over power rates and, by extension, the state’s renewable energy and energy efficiency regulations. Both that authority and their formerly staunchly pro-solar stance have withstood repeated attack in recent years. This fall the state will elect 3 Commissioners, the outcome of which could mean continued solar success or a roll-back on renewable progress - so choose well Arizona!
Red states lead the green economy
We know that jobs in solar and other clean energy industries are real today all across the country. Solar alone employs over 100,000 Americans. But you might be surprised to learn where those hot spots of new job creation are strongest: A new report from DBL Investors shows that green jobs are growing fastest in red states. The folks at SunRun recently released a report of their own showing that Republican voters actually made more green home improvements (including solar) over the past five years than their Democratic counterparts – although majorities of both parties made those kinds of green investments.
Affordable solar is here today
Solar was once viewed as a luxury of the do-gooder rich or harebrained scheme of long-haired hippies. But that’s changing fast thanks to lower costs and innovative financing models. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory crunched the numbers for Southern California and found that solar adoption was skewing toward a less affluent demographic. We sat down with our friends at Grid Alternatives and found that those same adoption trends ring true statewide: in fact recent California rooftop solar growth has really been driven by low and middle income zip codes. Stereotypes are hard to break, but the truth is solar is affordable today for many middle-class families across the country.
Teddy was the greenest
Fourty-four presidents in 223 years. Who among them did the most for the environment? Corporate Knights asked a dozen of America’s highest-profile environmental groups to tackle that very question in a first of its kind survey. And when the groups were asked to talk brass tax, they put two Republicans — Teddy Roosevelt and Richard Nixon — atop the list. Check out the full report and the infographic that ranks our greenest presidents.
A picture is worth a thousand words