As industries go, solar power is in a pretty good position. It’s a leading source of renewable energy, it creates jobs, it’s accessible to a wide variety of businesses, communities and people, and it has made no major mistakes along the way.
And, still, it appears to be feeling under-supported and under-appreciated.
How else to explain the existence of the USA Solar Bill of Rights?
Created by the Solar Energy Industries Association, the document outlines eight rights SEIA believes are needed to “create a policy environment that allows solar to compete on a level playing field with fossil fuel sources.” Here they are:
- Americans have the right to put solar on their homes or businesses and local restrictions should not be used to prevent them from doing so.
- Americans have the right to connect their solar energy system to the grid with uniform national interconnection standards.
- Americans have the right to Net Meter and be compensated at the very least with full retail electricity rates for any excess electricity generation.
- The solar industry has the right to a fair competitive environment, which includes federal government subsidies that match any subsidies that have been provided for fossil fuels.
- The solar industry has the right to produce clean energy on public lands. The industry currently has no permits for public lands.
- The solar industry has the right to sell its power across a new, 21st century transmission grid, which would connect areas rich in solar resources with major population centers.
- Americans have the right to buy solar electricity from their utility, which SEIA believes should be required to offer solar power to their customers who want it.
- Americans have the right to – and should expect – the highest ethical treatment from the solar industry, which includes open communications and a commitment to minimize its environmental impact.
Thus far, more than 2,300 people have signed the bill of rights. You can review the bill of rights online and also sign the “Glōbama” petition calling for the Obama Administration to accept Sungevity’s offer to donate and install a comprehensive solar system on the White House.
The industry will probably get more support for its positions over time, and it will need a lot of mainstream and Main Street champions. But this bill of rights? It’s like asking for the sun, moon and stars all at once.