Like many of us, if you are concerned about fracking, other destructive energy development and climate change, point of use, distributed "rooftop" solar generation ("DG") is by far the fastest, cheapest and most democratic path to a renewable energy future.
The irrefutable power of DG can be seen by the extraordinary gains make in Europe at the end of 2011. Together, Germany, UK, Belgium, France, Spain and Greece installed 1.21 GW (1,210 MW) of residential rooftop solar in fourth quarter 2011 and 3.66 GW (3,660 MW) of commercial rooftop (more details below). In contrast, the entire United States only installed 1.7 GW (1,700 MW) in all of 2011.
The obvious question is this: What is keeping the US from making the same gains in renewable energy?
Europe's success is due largely to Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) incentives, a policy that originally emerged in the US in the 1970's, but has since been opposed by investor-owned utilities, conventional energy interests and legislators looking out for their interests.
It will take a lot of People Power to overcome the stranglehold on renewable energy progress in Colorado and much of the US. Here are three simple actions you can take immediately:
1. JOIN the Solar Done Right Call to Action for Energy Democracy by signing the petition to send a message to political leaders and decision-makers that we need better policies for distributed generation, including the adoption of Feed-in Tariffs.
Read more about the Call to Action for Energy Democracy here.
Or, go directly to sign the petition here.
2. TELL the Federal Housing Finance Agency to restore Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) programs:
Learn more about Feed-in Tariffs here or on our policy page above.
Alfred M. Pollard, General Counsel
Include “RIN 2590-AA53” in the subject line of the message.
Snail mail to:
Alfred M. Pollard
Attention: Comments/RIN 2590-AA53,
Federal Housing Finance Agency
Eighth Floor, 400 Seventh Street SW.
Washington, DC 20024
For more information contact: Alfred M. Pollard, General Counsel, (202) 649-3050 (not a toll-free number).
3. SHARE this post with everyone you know who is also concerned about the stranglehold old energy interests have on renewable energy progress in the US.
Europe's Solar PV surge at the end of 2011
The last quarter of 2011 saw a 23% rise in the European solar photovoltaic (PV) market, creating optimism in the industry, according to NPD Solarbuzz.
Read more about Europe's 2011 renewable energy progress on ThinkProgress and Renewable Energy Focus.