Because solar is the fastest-growing energy source in the U.S., there are a number of utility companies fighting this inevitable transition to clean energy, including one in Arizona where a $50 monthly fee will be imposed for rooftop solar customers. We’re fortunate, however, to have a progressive Public Service Commission that sees through this false narrative that homeowners who choose a clean energy option for residential power generation are somehow not contributing to the expense of electrical grid maintenance.
Studies conducted on solar cite many benefits for power companies: avoided energy generation; avoided transmission losses; less need to purchase expensive power during peak usage; the financial benefits of a fossil fuel price hedge; less need for expensive peak power plant construction; enhanced security from attacks on our currently centralized power grid stations.
Last but not least, of course, are the environmental benefits of clean energy utilization – cleaner air, water and fewer greenhouse gas emissions that impact on our global climate.
Significantly building capacity to Georgia’s renewable energy industry will also help the state meet the EPA’s flexible Clean Power Plan requirements for a 30 GHG emissions reduction by 2030 while simultaneously growing our local economy. In fact, a recent report by the International Energy Agency noted, for the first time in 40 years, there’s been a halt or reduction in global GHG emissions not tied to an economic downturn and not resulting in economic devastation.
Some of the fastest-growing economies are doing the most to combat carbon emissions while growing jobs at the same time. The international agency found that while the rich countries of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development grew about 7 percent over a four-year period, emissions fell 4 percent.
Georgia is a relative latecomer to the solar-energy boom, but with initiatives underway to increase Georgia Power’s use of solar and legislation making roof-top solar an affordable option for homeowners, our state can be a leader in the nation’s clean energy economy.