First of all, let’s start by considering conventional energy production. Apart from causing climate change as we all know, burning fossil fuels directly harms many communities nationwide and abroad. And the unjust disproportionate impacts of fossil fuels speak to social justice issues, beyond just energy. This devastation for people and the planet has some people calling for a paradigm shift, and certainly underscores the need for a new way of doing business. Burning fossil fuels, no matter how you look at it, is an unfair game where only a few actually gain.
Now we have the technologies to ensure a better tomorrow. Renewable energy can boost the local economy without having the side effects mentioned above. This is why even the old, tired utilities are increasingly embracing solar. Solar power is for all and is getting more and more economically feasible. As the sun shines for everyone, it’s just a question of how we harvest it. So what if each community were to plan their own clean energy future? Available resources vary a lot depending on the location, but overall the power is in our hands!
Sustainability is not a luxury made for a select group of people, because we all need clean air and water. Guaranteeing a healthy environment can go along with affordable electricity prices. In fact, energy production can be managed as a common asset, with the community’s interest at its center. Most people in the U.S. cannot put panels on their roofs (especially in urban areas), but we can join in a community solar project. Having more control of the energy production and supply also brings economic benefits with it. Solar trailblazers in Maryland have shown this already: organized, we win. And these advantages can be enjoyed by everyone, without leaving less affluent people behind.
This is how shared renewables become a relevant tool to build more equitable communities. Because accessing cheaper energy and cleaner air is a fundamental social justice issue, many constituencies are engaged in it. Why should we be stuck in an old “dirty energy” system while we can now choose solar power? It is in the community’s best interest to get everyone involved and embrace the sun! Faith institutions, NGOs, Homeowners and Tenants Associations, and others can raise awareness among their stakeholders. Together, we can build a future that is meant for everyone!
The bottom line is that protecting the environment and fighting climate change is not only for tree-huggers. It is in everyone’s best interest. It can become part of our daily lives and of a more general societal progress. Thanks to community solar, we can turn consumers into real communities, sharing clean, affordable renewable energy. The first step to changing our energy future is getting involved. Join us as we create a cleaner, greener Maryland while saving people's money with affordable community solar power.