There has been a lot of stress surrounding the U.S. presidential election. Hopefully I can alleviate a bit of that stress for environmentalists and clean energy advocates who are feeling discouraged by the largely unexpected outcome.
First, I am happy to report that rumors of solar power’s death have been greatly exaggerated. I say this because shortly after “The Donald” won the presidential election, many solar advocates began openly proclaiming their alarm that the man who believes climate change is a hoax and who has also stated that solar is “not working so good,” now has the power to end the burgeoning solar industry in the U.S.
The alarm is understandable as our President-elect has pledged to end the Clean Power Plan that includes incentives for people who want to run their homes and businesses on non-polluting energy. He also promised to pull America out of the Paris climate agreement, and has made other negative statements about clean energy.
But solar advocates need to calm down because the solar power industry in the U.S. isn’t going anywhere. It is literally unstoppable.
Here Are Three Reasons Why Solar Is Here to Stay:
1) Solar Energy has strong voter support regardless of party affiliation. A recent Pew Research Poll shows that 89 percent of Americans favor expanding the use of solar energy to address energy costs and environmental concerns. Ninety percent of homeowners who switched to solar or who were interested in solar said they wanted to save on their energy bills, proving that liberal ideology is not the main reason why homeowners make the decision to go solar. Many people would be surprised to learn that in left-leaning California, the majority of its solar-powered homeowners are registered Republicans. Florida’s legislature is run by Republicans but its citizens recently voted to kill the bill that would have stopped solar from growing in their state. There are many more studies, statistics and stories that prove Americans like solar and will continue to support it primarily because depending upon the financing plan chosen, PPA, lease or ownership, a homeowner saves 20-100 percent on their monthly electricity bill once their solar system is up and running. If the homeowner owns their solar system, they can even generate revenue from it. Solar saves homeowners lots of money no matter what party they’re in.
2) Solar adoption is speeding up. In fact, solar power now looks like it is the future of energy. In 2015, 30 million Americans made the switch to solar power at a rate cheaper than the grid. In the U.S., solar power is now cheaper than fossil fuels, even without subsidies in many states. In addition, the International Energy Agency recently announced that the world’s capacity to generate electricity from renewable sources has now overtaken coal.
3) The solar industry is a MASSIVE job generator. Solar is now creating jobs at a faster rate than coal and big oil combined. The number of solar jobs in the U.S. has more than doubled in five years. Even more exciting is the fact that the solar energy industry grew nearly 12 times faster than the overall economy in 2015. This year that is trending even higher!
Since Candidate Trump promised growing jobs is his top priority, it is unlikely he will want to do anything to destroy the solar industry. Also rest assured that solar advocates from all over the U.S. will never stop working to make sure our new President understands that solar energy is a positive for all Americans, does not belong to any political party and is truly an unstoppable force.