America’s cities, as centers of population growth and energy consumption, must lead the way in building a grid powered by clean, renewable energy. However, state policies can have a sizeable impact on a city’s ability to expand solar energy. Research shows that solar energy policies – more than the availability of sunshine – dictate which states and, by extension, cities have successful solar industries and which do not. Cities can shine brighter when their state’s energy policy landscape supports renewable energy development, and should advocate for helpful state policies in addition to shaping their own.
The United States has enough solar energy installed to power over 11 million American homes. America’s cities and towns play a key role in driving the adoption of clean, renewable energy. Yet, most have only begun to tap their solar energy potential. Local governments can set the pace for solar growth by driving development through effective public policy and community engagement, reaping benefits for the environment, public health, grid resilience and consumers.
This series of guides should serve as a toolkit for communities interested in leading the transition to clean, renewable energy. Each guide illustrates the importance of one of the following policy tools for advancing solar energy adoption, as well as guidelines, case studies and additional resources.
Environment America Research & Policy Center
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Environment America Research and Policy Center is part of The Public Interest Network, which operates and supports organizations committed to a shared vision of a better world and a strategic approach to social change.