Tag Archives: Energy Policy / Independence

ILSR guest post

How 30 million solar homes can confront the climate crisis, address racial inequality in the energy sector, and get people back to work

Reading Time: 5 minutes

From the street, Shiloh Temple in North Minneapolis looks like many other houses of worship across the country. But a birds-eye view of the church reveals the unique connection Shiloh has to the heavens – a connection that allows Shiloh to make an outsized impact on the lives of its congregants and other residents of this historically Black community.

Shiloh Temple has a rooftop solar array that generates enough electricity for the church to lower its energy bills – freeing up money for other critical community needs. The installation and maintenance of the panels also provide good-paying jobs for a diverse workforce. And because the church and its congregants actually own the system, it ensures that decisions about the energy Shiloh generates are retained in the community (it’s literally local power!) 

Now, a group of organizations, businesses, and local officials are engaged in a campaign to bring the benefits of local solar to millions of Americans. In a letter sent to Congress earlier this year, the group – which represents millions of Americans – is calling on Congress to embrace the goal of 30 million solar homes powered by solar in five years.   

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Solar Futures Study

The Solar Futures Study: how we can get to 45 percent solar electricity by 2050

Reading Time: 8 minutes

On September 8, 2021, President Biden made a big announcement for the solar industry: solar has the potential to power 40 percent of U.S. electricity by 2035, and 45 percent by 2050 – an increase of over 1,000 percent from where it stands today. Produced by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Technologies Office (SETO) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the Solar Futures Study served as the basis for Biden’s announcement, explaining the role that solar will need to play in decarbonizing the electric grid and how we can achieve these targets in a cost-effective way. In this article, we’ll answer some of the major questions you might have about this study and what this solar transition could look like. 

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Infrastructure bill

The infrastructure bill and budget reconciliation bill: what could they mean for clean energy?

Reading Time: 4 minutes

On Earth Day 2021, the Biden Administration announced its goal “to reach 100 percent carbon pollution-free electricity by 2035”– but, until recently, no legislation had been passed to actually meet this target. This all started to shift in August 2021, when the Senate passed a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill and then immediately advanced a $3.5 trillion budget resolution that will lay the framework for a reconciliation bill. So, what’s the status of these bills? And how will they advance the U.S.’s clean energy transition? 

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IPCC report

What does the new Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report mean for you?

Reading Time: 4 minutes

On August 9, 2021, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released the world’s largest report on climate change, which the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General called “a code red for humanity.” The report synthesized information from over 14,000 references to assess current impacts of climate change and future risks, both on global and regional scales. But why is this report so important and how could its findings impact you? 

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LMI community solar

Low to moderate income community solar: what you need to know

Reading Time: 5 minutes

For many electricity users across the country, rooftop solar panels don’t make sense – there are physical reasons (i.e. roof availability, home size), personal reasons (i.e. aesthetics), and financial reasons. Specifically for individuals who classify as “low to moderate income” (LMI), there are several reasons why community solar can be a great way to benefit from solar energy while not needing the traditional financial resources to install your own solar panels.

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Community solar growth states

Which community solar markets are heating up?

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Historically, community solar has been the most popular–and most accessible–in four key states: Minnesota, Colorado, Massachusetts, and New York. But excitingly, more and more states are jumping on the community solar bandwagon, and new projects continue to pop up each year.

So, what markets are heating up for community solar? And which states can we expect to take the plunge next? 

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