Charlotte NC gives a shout out for solar
by Hanna Mitchell
Why all the hype about the sun?Solar means thousands of new jobs, clean air and water, and cheaper energy bills for everyone. The good news is that North Carolina is moving ahead and was ranked second in the country for new solar capacity in 2013, second only to California.
Solar is available, abundant, and affordable.North Carolina has double the solar potential of Germany, the world leader in solar energy generation. Furthermore, the cost of solar is going down fast. North Carolina average installed residential and commercial photovoltaic system prices have fallen by 15% in the last year. While utility rates in North Carolina are skyrocketingDuke Energy has imposed rate hikes in 3 out of the past 4 yearssolar is more affordable than ever before.
Solar is an environmentally and socially responsible investment. Climate changeincluding extreme cold, heat, flooding, and droughtsaffects everyone. Solar is a clean, safe energy option that does not generate greenhouse gas emissions, or air and water pollution. Solar also creates jobs that cannot be outsourced. In North Carolina alone, there are more than 121 solar companies that employ 1,400 people. Furthermore, investing in residential solar means taking power away from energy monopolies. Solar is the peoples power.
Just as the solar energy revolution is taking off,Duke Energy is attacking rooftop projectsbecause it threatens the companys century old monopoly business model. Using ALEC guidelines, and the divide and conquer approach, Duke is claiming that solar hurts ratepayers. But we know thats not true. The more solar on rooftops means that Duke needs to build fewer multi-billion dollar nuclear, gas and coal power plants, which means fewer rate hikes.
At the same time, Duke is putting outgreenwashing PRto say they are solars biggest fans. But if Duke wants to lead on solar and other renewable energy sources why does the companys 20 year plan only project 3% renewable energy in the next 20 years? We arent going to let them get away with this.