In recent years, you may have seen more electric vehicles on the road, maybe more solar panels installed in your neighborhood, or even the development of a large wind or solar farm just a short drive away. This is all thanks to the recent momentum behind the clean energy industry in the United States. In fact, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), 17.6% of U.S. electricity generated in 2018 came from renewables - double what was generated just 10 years prior. We are in the midst of a movement, which the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has declared “a clean energy revolution.”
While there have been policies and incentives driving some of this change the consensus is clear - everyday citizens want clean energy. In fact, last year, a Business Insider survey of about 1,000 respondents showed that “both Democrats and Republicans strongly favor renewable sources of energy over fossil fuels.” This showcases a strong desire for clean energy and the benefits it provides. Americans understand that renewable energy is often synonymous with saving money, supporting their local communities, and ensuring a healthier environment for everyone.
Whether you have already taken part in this movement in some way (go you!) or you are new to renewable energy (welcome!), we’re glad you’re interested in the clean energy revolution. Here are some ways you can join the movement.
Rooftop solar can be a great option for the right homeowner. While putting solar panels on your roof usually requires some upfront planning, the savings homeowners receive on their electricity bills almost always pay for the panels over time (usually about 10 years). A rooftop installation is often a good choice if you have a strong roof with enough space for solar panels, receive ample sunlight, and are okay with the upfront costs. However, because of these prerequisites, not everyone can take part in rooftop solar. If this option doesn’t seem right for you, don’t worry! There are other ways you can support renewable energy.
Community solar allows nearly all households to participate in clean energy, whether you own your roof or not. With community solar, there are no upfront costs and nothing needs to be installed on your property. Instead, you enroll in a local solar farm (a large solar project) located in your utility territory that has been built. Then, using PowerMarket’s online marketplace, you can find a community solar project near you and sign up to become a subscriber. Based on your past year of electricity usage, we will assign you a portion of the community solar project. Not only are you supporting local, clean energy resources, but most solar projects in our marketplace guarantee that you will spend less on your electricity costs each month that you participate. We get excited about community solar because it allows more people to take part in the clean energy revolution while supporting their local community.
Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) are another way to support renewable energy. Here, you purchase certificates that represent renewable energy that is generated and supplied to the grid. These credits can represent renewable energy production anywhere in the country which is different from the community solar model where you subscribe directly to a specific, local project. RECs can be purchased from an energy service company (ESCO) and you typically pay a little extra to support these projects. What’s great is that if you are already a part of an ESCO you can still join a community solar project as well.
The majority of Americans are ready for a transition to renewable energy. And with so many clean energy options today, just about anyone can take part in this movement. Whether you are a homeowner or a renter, on a budget or not, receive ample sunlight or are in the shade, there is a clean energy option for you. Join us today in strengthening the clean energy industry in the United States and taking part in the clean energy revolution.
To learn more:
“Clean Energy.” Energy.gov, U.S. Department of Energy, www.energy.gov/science-innovation/clean-energy#:~:text=A
clean energy revolution is,rapidly in the coming years.
Marcy, Cara. “U.S. Energy Information Administration - EIA - Independent Statistics and Analysis.” U.S. Renewable
Electricity Generation Has Doubled since 2008 - Today in Energy - U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), 19 Mar. 2019, www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=38752.
Zeballos-Roig, Joseph, and Angela Wang. “Americans Really Want the US to Adopt Renewable Energy like Wind and
Solar Power, While Rejecting Fossil Fuels like Coal.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 1 Oct. 2019, www.businessinsider.com/americans-really-want-the-us-adopt-renewable-energy-sources-2019-10.