What comes next?
You don’t need me to tell you that Tuesday’s election will change a lot, with profound consequences for our communities and our planet. But what does it mean for solar? It means we’re still in this fight. Here’s why:
1) Clean energy has mighty support.
Bi-partisan supermajorities of Americans want to see more solar powering our communities. A recent Pew Research poll even found that expanding solar and wind development is one of the rare areas of agreement between Clinton and Trump supporters, both coming in above 80% support for more solar projects. And we saw that support on election night in Florida, where voters rejected a misleading anti-solar measure backed by $25 million of utility spending. That was the second time in 3 months that the people of the Sunshine State defied the odds and overwhelmingly voted for solar on their ballots.
Our mission is to give more people a real stake in our clean energy economy and to give them a voice in energy policymaking.
2) States lead the charge.
State legislatures establish renewable portfolio standards and enable community solar programs. State regulators do resource planning for utilities and establish the net metering rules and rate structures that let rooftop solar thrive. When it comes to energy, states are where most of the action is.
And as 2016 has shown, we know how to win those fights. In the face of tremendous opposition from well-resourced fossil interests, our own small team successfully expanded opportunities for families, businesses and utilities to go solar in a dozen states. Together, we can do even more in the year ahead.
3) Competitive solar won’t be stopped.
We are at a point in many places around the country where solar and wind are cheaper than the polluting alternatives, no matter how you slice it. Increasingly, we are seeing utilities in states from Georgia to Idaho turn to renewables as the most cost-effective option. A growing number of major businesses like Walmart, Google and Facebook are now committed to procuring 100% renewable resources. And what’s good for the Google is good for the gander. Those favorable economics provide a powerful gravitational pull for utilities and consumers, big and small. We have installed more than a million solar projects across the U.S., and we are on track to double that number in just two years.
For nearly 15 years, Vote Solar has been working under the premise that states are closer to democracy and to real energy change. It’s clear that our work together driving solar progress at the state level is more important today than ever before. In the months and years ahead, we will stay focused on working with state and local leaders to build a cleaner, safer, healthier energy system for all – and we hope you’ll join us.