The solar and renewable energy news from last week shows overwhelming support from all sectors of the US economy, from homeowners to businesses and even states. Massachusetts is emerging as a leader in renewable energy policy while a new report shows that rooftop solar power doesn’t add costs to other utility customers and companies are protesting President Trump’s nominations.
The Energy Institute at the University of Austin recently published Full Cost of Electricity, a wide-ranging report, and a series of white papers that show rooftop solar power doesn't usually cost other customers. The report found that when all costs of energy production are compared rooftop solar helps to eliminate additional costs of extra transmission facilities in most cases. This is in contrast of what many utilities contend, that rooftop solar raises costs for all its customers.
Meanwhile, at least one new survey shows that more homeowners are interested in adding solar power to their roofs. Research and analytics firm, Park Associates said its recent survey found that 15 percent of US households with broadband internet service want to go solar in 2017.
That’s certainly true in Massachusetts, in fact, the whole state seems to want to go renewable. There, state lawmakers introduced legislation that would transition the state to 100 percent renewable energy by 2035. It would be one of the—if not the most—aggressive renewable portfolio standard in the US.
That’s not to say the state isn’t already leading the country in terms of renewable energy. The state was tops in Solar Power Rocks’ annual rankings of states in terms of policies that support rooftop solar production. The annual rankings praised Massachusetts’ for its solar policies, including its net-metering policies.
Even if states that aren’t considered solar leaders are adding in a lot of renewable energy. For instance, Georgia Power has 846 megawatts of solar online and plans to add 1.6 gigawatts in the next 4 years.
Businesses are also taking steps to support renewable energy and push back against President Donald Trump’s (R) appointments. One of the people drawing ire is Scott Pruitt, Trump’s appointee to head the EPA. A total of 565 business leaders, representing a broad swath of the US economy, including Whirlpool, the Army, health care companies, airlines and more, opposed his nomination in a letter sent to Senators.
Meanwhile, companies are increasing their use of solar power, particularly IT companies. Last week Apple's plans to buy 200 megawatts of solar in Nevada were unveiled. The company will use the energy to power its data center in Reno, NV. Similarly, Amazon is leading the way in Virginia. There Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) announced that Amazon is installing a 100-megawatt solar farm in the state. When it comes online Amazon will have both the largest and second largest solar installations in the state.Tweet