News Release | Environment North Carolina Research and Policy Center

Report: Big-box stores could save big, reduce pollution by going solar

Raleigh, NC- Big-box stores, grocery chains, and shopping centers in North Carolina could cut pollution and save $246 million dollars with rooftop solar, a new report said today.
The Environment North Carolina Research and Policy Center analysis, Solar on Superstores, found that Target, Home Depot, and other large retailers could avert 2.2 million metric tons of carbon pollution annually if they used all their available roof space for solar panels.

News Release | Environment North Carolina Research and Policy Center

Report: Duke Energy among the nation’s top solar energy opponents

Raleigh, NC- Duke Energy is front and center in a new report connecting the company to a national network of utility interest groups and fossil-fuel industry-funded think tanks providing funding, model legislation, and political support for anti-solar campaigns across the country.

Report | Environment North Carolina Research and Policy Center

Blocking the Sun

Solar power is clean, affordable and popular with the American people. Since 2010, America’s solar energy capacity has grown more than four-fold, generating increasing amounts of clean energy at increasingly affordable prices.

America’s solar progress is largely the result of bold, forward-thinking public policies that have created a strong solar industry while putting solar energy within the financial reach of millions more Americans.

Behind the scenes, however, electric utilities, fossil fuel interests and powerful industry front groups have begun chipping away at the key policies that have put solar energy on the map in the United States – often in the face of strong objections from a supportive public.

Report | Environment North Carolina Research and Policy Center

Lighting the Way

Solar energy is booming. In just the last three years, America’s solar photovoltaic capacity tripled. In 2014, a third of the United States’ new installed electric capacity came from solar power. And in three states – California, Hawaii, and Arizona– solar power now generates more than 5 percent of total electricity consumption.

News Release | Environment North Carolina Research and Policy Center

Report: North Carolina 4th nationally in total solar electric capacity

Raleigh, NC. –North Carolina ranked 4th nationally for total solar electric capacity, and 9th per capita, according to a new report, Lighting the Way III: The Top States that Helped Drive America’s Solar Energy Boom in 2014 by Environment North Carolina Research & Policy Center.

Report | Environment North Carolina Research and Policy Center

Shining Rewards

Solar energy is on the rise in the United States. At the end of the first quarter of 2015, more than 21,300 megawatts of cumulative solar electric capacity had been installed around the country, enough to power more than 4.3 million homes. The rapid growth of solar energy in the United States is the result of forward-looking policies that are helping the nation reduce its contribution to global warming and expand its use of local renewable energy sources.

One policy in particular, net energy metering, has been instrumental in the growth of solar energy, particularly on homes and businesses. Net energy metering enables solar panel owners to earn fair compensation for benefits they provide to other users of the electricity grid, and makes “going solar” an affordable option for more people. Net energy metering works by providing customers a credit on their electric bill that offsets charges for energy consumption. As solar energy has taken off in recent years, however, utilities and other special interests have increasingly attacked net metering as an unjustified “subsidy” to solar users.

News Release | Environment North Carolina Research and Policy Center

Report: Solar energy benefits vastly outweigh costs

Raleigh–Households and businesses with solar panels deliver greater benefits than they receive through programs like net metering, a report said today, countering increasing complaints from utilities that solar homeowners don’t pay their fair share.

Report | Environment North Carolina Research and Policy Center

Shining Cities

The use of solar power is expanding rapidly across the United States. By the end of 2014, the United States had 20,500 megawatts (MW) of cumulative solar electric capacity, enough to power four million average U.S. homes. This success is the outcome of federal, state and local programs that are working in concert to make solar power accessible to more Americans, thereby cleaning our air, protecting our health, and hedging against volatile electricity prices.

America’s major cities have played key roles in the clean energy revolution and stand to reap significant benefits from solar energy adoption. As population centers, they are home to the largest electricity markets and can have an important influence on the way we power our grid. Many cities are already benefitting from smart policies that encourage investment in solar energy.

News Release | Environment North Carolina Research and Policy Center

Raleigh earns berth in “sweet sixteen” for solar power

Raleigh, NC – Raleigh has more solar panels than most major American cities, ranking 13th among dozens of metropolitan areas analyzed in a new report. The Oak City’s berth in the “solar sweet sixteen,” just behind Albuquerque and ahead of Sacramento, is a result of a significant growth of rooftop solar in the city.

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