A cross-party group of 180 mayors in America has resolved to put solar power front and center of plans to encourage their local communities to use more clean energy.
The 180 mayors drawn from 42 states, representing large and small communities, said the need to seize the opportunities surrounding clean energy was of paramount importance.
The group voiced their conviction in a letter released by Environment America while federal support for clean energy is beginning whither. (Read the full letter below)
Environment America recently released a new guide for local authorities: Ten Ways Your City Can Go Solar.
Emma Searson, Environment America’s Go Solar Campaign Coordinator urged more cities to switch to solar as they could then benefit from cleaner air and improved public health while tackling climate change.
One city taking on the challenge is Bozeman in Montana where citizens are beginning to switch to solar energy.
Its mayor Cyndy Andrus commented: “We are committed to expanding solar energy opportunities at the utility-scale and at local level.
“We are streamlining our solar permitting processes, offering small grants to businesses for energy efficiency and renewable energy, and working alongside our utility to advance community solar.”
Solar energy is also helping the city of Encinitas in California to achieve its climate ambitions.
“We’re aiming to have 100 percent of our community’s electricity supplied by renewable sources by 2030,” declared Mayor Catherine Blakespear.
“We are committed to expanding solar energy opportunities at the utility-scale and at local level.
“And over the next couple of years, we plan to install enough solar panels on our municipal buildings to become a Net Zero Energy city.”
Orlando’s Mayor Buddy Dyer added: “The transition to a clean energy future is one of the greatest opportunities of the 21st century for cities to improve community health, quality of life, environmental sustainability, and a vibrant and robust economy.”
Read the letter
We, the undersigned U.S. Mayors and local officials, resolve to make solar energy a key element of our communities’ energy plans.
Accelerating the growth of solar will reduce pollution while revitalizing our communities by creating jobs and keeping energy dollars in our local economies. Expanding solar power helps residents and businesses benefit from lower energy costs while providing more local control of energy and improving our communities’ resilience.
Therefore, solar energy can and should be a much larger part of our energy mix than it is today. The U.S. has the potential to produce 100 times more solar power than the total amount of energy we consume each year. We must continue to harness this vast source of clean energy for the benefit of all of our citizens.
As local leaders, we know that our communities are particularly well-suited to adopt solar power. Cities and towns are natural centers of electricity demand, have the rooftops and infrastructure needed for installing solar panels, and can craft policies to help residents and utilities make the switch to solar power. With a concerted effort underway on the state and federal levels to limit the growth of solar by fossil fuel special interests, communities like ours across the country need to act quickly to continue our progress toward renewable energy.
By signing this statement in support of solar, we commit to supporting efforts to advance solar energy in our local communities, states, and the nation.