Governor should commit to expanding solar power
With the start of the new season, sunny skies are ahead of us. Spring is all about renewal and regrowth. We should start spring by renewing our commitment to solar energy and growing the industry here in New York. Our solar industry added 2,100 jobs in New York in 2014, according to the Solar Foundation’s new solar jobs census. Nationwide, solar jobs grew by more than 20 percent for the second year in a row, now totaling over 170,000 jobs.
The annual solar jobs census demonstrates that not only is solar good for New York’s environment – for reducing air pollution and tackling global warming – it’s also a major economic driver.
Smart, forward-thinking policies have done much to pave the way for the solar industry’s expansion – and we have vastly more room for growth. In fact, New York has the technical potential to generate 11 times the amount of electricity consumed in an average year from solar power alone.
With a large and well-trained workforce prepared to advance solar energy, all we need is for our policymakers to lead in order to take solar to the next level. To reap the full economic, public health and environmental benefits of solar, I urge Gov. Andrew Cuomo to set a goal of generating 20 percent of New York’s electricity from solar by 2025.
Director, Environment New York