Today IREC proudly joins the collective voice of advocates and industry celebrating a milestone we have worked for 37 years to witness: two million solar installations now in the U.S. What better timing than in a year when children and governors, presidential candidates and corporate CEOs are all making headlines about the urgency of climate change action.
The collective power of experience and passion assembled in one room was by any measure extraordinary. It was a day of robust exploration of the challenges, opportunities and details, and the not so distant milestones necessary to get us there – ultimately to 100 percent clean energy. The words “urgency” and “collaboration” and “equitable” could not have been louder.
As published in Renewable Energy World
Here we are in 2019, with more than 100 U.S. cities and 140 large corporations having established 100 percent clean, carbon-free and/or renewable energy goals. In several states, newly seated governors campaigned on goals of 100 percent renewable energy, and congressional representatives have arrived in Washington positioning for a like-minded national proposal. The question is: what really has to happen to get from here to there, and what are the benefits such a transition will bring?
It is at the state level that clean energy success can best be measured today. That’s why we created the 2017 Clean Energy States Honor Roll, to call out some of the year’s best success stories. We recognize Utah, Maryland, Illinois and Minnesota for their achievements in energy storage, net metering, interconnection and a clean energy workforce jobs initiative.
December is a month we tend to look back over the year. As I do that, I see an incredibly successful, productive year as it relates to IREC’s goals and objectives. This is of course against the backdrop of an equally incredible year of frustration with what’s happening on the federal level. We know better than ever that it is state policy and regulatory actions that will directly determine the volume and pace of clean energy access and adoption by consumers across the U.S. This makes IREC’s impactful state-by-state work more critical than ever before.
Sometimes we need to blow a horn or two. In this case, there are several blasts in order. Among IREC’s most critical goals is to share what we know. From our work on the ground in multiple state energy regulatory proceedings, our experts identify challenges and solutions to issues surrounding fair and efficient connection to the grid, including the best new ways to plan for increased distributed renewables and transformational technologies like energy storage.
If your inbox is anything like mine, it’s full of petitions to sign, commentaries of outrage and news links galore. And among last week’s good news is this: more than 1,000 leaders of cities, states, businesses and universities in the U.S. signed on to a letter signaling their continued support for the Paris Agreement. Here’s one instant action YOU can take right here, right now – in support of the work we can do together.
IREC is moving the bar forward for quality solar training for allied industry professionals with a series of educational forums on solar codes and safety. With recent updates to the national building and electrical codes, there are important changes to know that affect the safe installation of PV systems.
Throughout 2017, you will see celebratory signs of our 35th year, kicked off this week with our IREC@35 event in Washington, DC, March 8th. It was an extraordinary evening with IREC friends, supporters and partners during which we reveled in our collective achievements, and acknowledged the legendary accomplishments of our dear friend and respected colleague, IREC President Emeritus Jane Weissman.
While millions of Americans can more easily, safely and affordably access renewable sustainable energy today because of our collaborative successes over the last three decades, the current environment in which we operate elevates the need for IREC’s continued leadership. Our unique, critically important work must continue – in your state and mine and across the U.S. And to meet these amplified challenges head on, we need your help more than ever.