In a new report from environmentamerica.org, 20 American cities have distinguished themselves by becoming the most solar power friendly cities in the country.
These cities have contributed to the impressive fact that there is now 20,500 megawatts of total solar electric capacity in the U.S. This 20 gigawatts of energy is enough to power 4 million homes. It’s also notable to mention that these 20 top solar cities accounted for 6.5 percent of total solar energy capacity in the U.S. While 6.5 percent might not sound like much, it’s important to realize that many of these solar installations were smaller, residential and commercial projects.
As you can see from the list, solar power is really taking off all across America. It is no longer a California phenomenon. In fact, we should be seeing massive solar installations continue to take shape in great candidates like Texas and Florida. Both states have tremendous solar potential. As soon as the politics are dealt with we will see progress in those states as well as many others.
The report also detailed why solar power really does make perfect sense for implementation in cities. Here are some of the key points –
- Solar power helps local economies to grow. The growth of any industry can bring jobs and opportunities to any community, solar is no exception. In fact, many solar jobs are high paying. The types of jobs available are quite diverse as well. There are now almost 200,000 jobs in the solar industry nationwide.
- Cities can use solar power to reduce air pollution. Conventional electricity production creates a tremendous amount of air pollution. This air pollution is directly linked to the premature death of many thousands of people every year. Solar power will continue to be a solution to this problem.
- Solar power can help cities mitigate global warming. Energy produced from solar panels has an extremely small carbon footprint. The more solar power that is installed, the less global warming pollution will be created. Global warming has been linked to storms which have caused billions of dollars worth of damage.
- Electric grids are actually strengthened by solar. Eventually more homeowners will have solar panel systems that are tied to battery storage systems. Blackouts can be avoided during heat waves when solar homes lessen the load on the grid by going off the grid for a short period of time.
The main takeaway from this report should be that there is still plenty of potential for solar power to expand across America’s cities. However, the city story is just one part of the overall solar picture. We need solar installed at every level for it to finally become a major source of energy.
The flexibility in its potential applications makes solar power a great choice for our future energy needs. From very large utility-scale applications, to a small residential solar panel system, solar power can be installed virtually anywhere.
Our solar powered future looks bright from cities all across America.