Solar United Neighbors of Maryland has joined Chesapeake Climate Action Network, MDV-Solar Energy Industries Association, and more than 600 local, state, and regional organizations representing diverse constituents and economic interests in supporting a daring campaign requiring 50% of Maryland’s electricity to be generated by renewable sources in 2030. Increasing the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) from 25% to 50% will spur growth in our economy (especially in the solar industry), create jobs, help more Marylanders go solar, and reduce our reliance on imported fossil fuels that pollute our neighborhoods. Contact your representative today to tell them you support the Clean Energy Jobs Campaign!
There are many reasons we support the Clean Energy Jobs Campaign. Today, we want to focus on the campaign’s positive impacts on Maryland jobs, local energy production, keeping our communities healthy, and maintaining Maryland’s position as a national leader in the production of reliable, renewable, and local electricity that benefits all Marylanders.
The solar industry is already a strong and growing staple of the Maryland economy, with 165 solar companies employing over 5,000 Marylanders in 2016 in diverse fields such as installation, project development, manufacturing, and sales. According to the Solar Foundation, solar jobs grew 20 times faster than the state’s overall economy last year. It only makes sense to continue investing in the fastest growing occupation in the nation. This campaign includes a significant increase in the requirement for solar energy produced in Maryland from the 2.5% currently required by 2020 to 14.5% by 2030. Requiring even more in-state solar could mean the addition of 15,000 jobs for Marylanders.
There is currently enough solar power generated in Maryland to power more than 68,000 homes, surpassing any other renewable resource. Much of that energy is from individual homeowners’ rooftop and ground-mounted systems. Increasing requirements for solar in the state will encourage even more homeowners to invest in the energy economy. Unfortunately, not everyone can go solar directly on their home. For those who can’t, community solar provides a way to directly access solar energy. Community solar allows communities to go solar together, and helps low and moderate-income neighborhoods benefit from renewable energy. Expanding the RPS will enable community solar to flourish across the state as well.
Emissions from fossil fuel generated power plants cause health problems from asthma to premature death. Relying on more clean and renewable resources for our electricity means less of the energy we use will cause harmful pollution in our air and waterways. Doubling the amount of renewable resources by 2030 will vastly reduce those pollutants and help Marylanders most impacted by these pollutants today live longer and healthier lives.
Moving forward is something that Marylanders have always done. We’ve been at the forefront of progress since Maryland was founded. Join us in continuing that great tradition. This isn’t a campaign for one part of the state or for one industry or for one demographic. This is a campaign to help Maryland continue its path to leadership on reliable, renewable, and local electricity, and for all Marylanders to share the benefits.