The following essay was written By Rachel Morales, Clean Energy Organizer at Environment North Carolina.
Don’t let North Carolina’s commitment to solar power fade
By Rachel Morales
Solar power has been an enormous success in North Carolina. During each of the last two years, North Carolina has ranked fourth in the nation in the amount of solar capacity added.
What’s more, that growth is no mistake or accident. In the last decade, our state leaders passed forward-thinking policies, like tax incentives to encourage individuals to buy solar and a “renewable energy portfolio” standard that requires a portion of North Carolina’s electricity to come from renewable energy sources.
Indeed, these and other policies have spurred a solar boom in the state. Solar businesses have popped up statewide and more and more families, businesses, and farms have decided to go solar. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) North Carolina now generates 1,088 megawatts of solar energy each year, enough to power 116,000 homes. A new poll by the ClearPath Foundation found that 84 percent of registered voters “support action to accelerate the development and use of clean energy,” including 72 percent of Republican voters.
At a glance, Duke Energy is also a proponent of solar energy. The energy giant has installed more than 600 megawatts of solar capacity to date and is touting plans to bring more online in 2016.
Unfortunately, behind the scenes, the company has taken action to discourage rooftop solar in the state. Read more