With the results of last night’s elections coming into focus, community solar is set to continue its trajectory as the fastest growing sector within the solar industry. Unlike other issues that are polarizing our nation, community solar is a bi-partisan solution that advances principles aligned with both sides of the political aisle: choice and competition in the marketplace, increased consumer access to renewable energy, bill savings for business and families, and a safer and more resilient electric grid. These principles are why community solar legislation has been signed by Republican and Democratic Governors and is supported by bi-partisan majorities in many states.
“Last night’s election results confirm a path to continued robust growth for community solar,” said Jeff Cramer, executive director for CCSA. “States such as Nevada, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and New Mexico are poised to consider and pass new programs for community solar in 2019. We also see early community solar leaders, such as Colorado, Minnesota, New York, and others, poised to expand and improve their existing programs to better serve customer demand for local solar.”
Thanks to pent-up customer demand for affordable clean solar energy, community solar has become the fastest growing segment of the solar market with over 1GW of installed capacity to date, enough to power about 140,000 households. What’s more, 2018 was a banner year with over one-third of existing capacity coming online last year alone, along with enabling legislation being passed in two new markets: Connecticut and New Jersey.
According to recent research conducted by Consumers Reports, renewable energy is a bi-partisan issue that an overwhelming majority of Americans support. According to the research, over 76% of consumers agree that increasing renewable energy is a worthwhile goal, while over 70% agreed that they would like more energy choices.
“If newly elected lawmakers are looking for a bi-partisan issue that can make a big impact in their communities, they need to look no further than community solar,” said Cramer. “According to recent research by energy consulting firm Wood MacKenzie, the U.S. community solar market can sustainably scale to 50-80 times its current size by 2030 or to 57-84 GW. This equates to nearly 9 million new solar customers, including 4 million low-to-moderate income customers, and $120 billion in capital investment in new local energy infrastructure. We’re looking forward to working with newly elected lawmakers and regulators to take advantage of this bi-partisan opportunity and design smart policies that create a win-win-win for customers, the grid, and the environment.”
The Coalition for Community Solar Access (CCSA) is a national Coalition of businesses and non-profits working to expand customer choice and access to solar to all American households and businesses through community solar. Community solar refers to local solar facilities shared by multiple community subscribers who receive credits on their electricity bills for their share of the power produced. Community solar provides homeowners, renters, and businesses equal access to the economic and environmental benefits of solar energy generation regardless of the physical attributes or ownership of their home or business. Community solar expands access to solar for all, including low-to-moderate income customers, all while building a stronger, distributed, and more resilient electric grid. For more information, visit our website at www.communitysolaraccess.org, follow us on Twitter at @solaraccess and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/communitysolaraccess.