Reacting to today’s presidential memorandum requiring the federal government to get 20 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020, SEIA President and CEO Rhone Resch released the following statement:
“This is a landmark moment in our nation’s history. Today, climate change is a real and growing threat to America and the rest of the world. It’s indisputable. Sea levels are rising. Arctic ice is disappearing. We’re experiencing more intense and unpredictable storms. And droughts plague the world. From an environmental perspective, few things threaten our nation’s future prosperity and way of life more than climate change. That’s why it’s so important for the federal government to lead by example. We applaud President Obama for standing firm and following through on a key commitment he made as part of his Climate Action Plan.
“America’s solar energy industry is doing its part, too. Today, solar is one of the fastest-growing sources of new energy in the United States and recently surpassed 10 gigawatts (GW) of installed capacity in the United States – enough to power more than 1.7 million American homes. What’s more, this year we expect to bring more solar online than world leader Germany. From rooftop solar to large-scale utility solar projects, we’re helping to create thousands of new American jobs, save money for U.S. consumers, boost local economies and reduce pollution nationwide.
“Moving forward, we also encourage the Administration to develop a modern procurement process that allows solar to compete evenly with fossil fuels. Federal agencies should have the authority to adopt long-term power purchase agreements in order to maximize savings for U.S. taxpayers. Today’s outdated system discourages the same power purchases for federal facilities that successful companies like Walmart, Costco and Apple use to save money by going solar.”