At the start of this month, the Environmental Protection Agency and the President presented their long-awaited Clean Power Plan. This plan was proposed years ago as a way to combat carbon emissions created by traditional power plants. These are currently responsible for 40% of CO2 emissions in the US* (2). Now, thanks to all of the agency’s research and groundwork, the Clean Power Plan is set to “strengthen the fast-growing trend toward cleaner and lower-polluting American energy” (1).
*This is not simply an environmental issue. In fact, the American Lung Association is a huge supporter of the Clean Power Plan as CO2 has been proven to directly affect public health by increasing the population’s risk of contracting lung-related illnesses (2).
This plan will revolutionize the way Santa Clarita and America as a whole power their homes, businesses and government buildings. The Clean Power Plan will also set a strong example for rapidly developing nations (i.e. China and India) to follow, helping the planetary population avoid the health risks associated with increasing CO2 emissions.
As the plan takes into account each state’s resources and past progress towards renewable energy, the Plan seems to be a fair one. Many feared the plan would overburden poorer or less technologically-advanced states with unrealistic expectations. But, for now, it seems like the agency and the Obama administration have done what they can to prevent this. States that do exceptionally well with their individual plans and deadlines will be used by the federal government as models for future improvements to this initiative (1).
Though the plan includes wind and hydro power projects, the plan will primarily “rely on the installation of thousands of megawatts (MW) of new solar power systems, in addition to the 50,000 MW of solar power to be operating by 2020” (2). This is where our solar manufacturer and partner, SunPower solar, comes in.
SunPower is already negotiating and building many solar power plants for utility companies across the United States. This is not to mention all of the solar panels SunPower and their dealers install on residential rooftops everyday. As solar energy creeps closer and closer to grid parity, it starts becoming more and more feasible for everyday Americans to purchase their systems either through financing options or with cash.
The possibilities and positive outcomes of the Clean Power Plan are endless— manufacturing, labor and administrative job creation, money-saving energy solutions for low-income homeowners and cleaner more breathable air. With the help of the Clean Power Plan, American solar manufacturers like SunPower and trustworthy solar installers like Green Convergence, our country's future looks a whole lot brighter and the air feels a little bit cleaner.
Image: Union of Concern Scientists