Solar businesses said they are ready and eager to help meet and exceed the pollution reductions proposed by EPA, and over 500 solar industry leaders from hundreds of businesses issued a letter last week to the White House to show their support for carbon-reducing initiatives. The businesses wrote to President Obama to endorse limits on carbon pollution from power plants and advocating for solar energy become a focal point of the EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan.
A recent Union of Concerned Scientists study shows that renewable energy sources could play an larger role the Clean Power Plan than initially projected by EPA, achieving nationwide reductions in carbon pollution of up to 40%.
Solar power companies want the EPA and Americans to know that they are ready to meet the challenge.
“As solar power installers, manufacturers, designers, aggregators, product suppliers, and consultants, we welcome the unveiling of the Clean Power Plan,” reads the letter, organized by the advocacy group Environment America. “This plan is a critical step toward transforming our energy system to one that protects our health and environment, and that of our children.”
To address the growing threat of climate change, in June the U.S. EPA proposed a requirement that power plants nationwide cut carbon emissions 30 percent by 2030. The plan is open for public comment until December 1st, and is due to become final next year.
“As a nation, we’re poised to finally turn the page from sooty smokestacks to sunnier skies– and America’s solar energy industry is uniquely positioned to play a key role in the fight against climate change,” said Rhone Resch, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). “Look at what’s happening today. There’s enough solar in the country right now to power more than 3 million American homes, and we’re just scratching the surface of our potential.”
Solar power is increasingly put to work across the US, and clean energy is in demand. Every 4 minutes in America, another home or business goes solar. The clean energy industry has also added a steady supply of jobs, according to the latest solar jobs census from the Solar Foundation. In 2013, the solar industry employed roughly 143,0000 people, adding more new employees last year than any other sector.
As solar power capacity in the U.S. has grown, the costs of going solar have dropped off — in fact, prices have plunged 51% since 2011. Solar is becoming more accessible, more versatile, and more equipped to play a big role in carbon pollution reductions, industry leaders said, and this can only be a good thing for the future of heating and powering American homes.
“The climate crisis demands that we fulfill our vast potential for solar energy,” said Rob Sargent, Energy Program Director with Environment America, “and businesses across the nation are ready to rise to the challenge.”