April 2, 2013

Solar energy in Virginia is a no show


Wow. Solar energy is growing SO slowly in Virginia.

The Solar Energy Industry Association just announced its ranking of 2012 solar energy installations in the U.S.and Virginia tied for last place. Not really a surprise for us locally because I have seen very few solar panels in our Tidewater area.

 Neighboring states like Maryland and North Carolina ranked in the Top 10. 

I just returned from a trip to Boston and saw more rooftop solar panels there than last year, even though they see less sunshine than Virginians. And the wind turbines in Massachusetts, both offshore and on, put us to shame. 

What do these states have that we lack? Leadership!

Just look at Dominion Power's idea of progress over the next 20 years:
2010:  Fossil Fuels: 59%; Renewables: less than 3%
2030:  Fossil Fuels: 58%; Renewables: less than 6%

So SUPER GREEN KUDOS to the Virginia Living Museum for recently attaching 165 solar panels to their facility. It is now one of the largest nonprofit solar installations in Hampton Roads. I must add that Dominion Power (criticized above) made this possible with a $150,000 grant, along with a donation of $15,000 from Bay Electric Company. So why can't Dominion take some giant energy steps and commit to more solar energy by 2030?

Those dandy solar panels should save the Museum about $5000 in electricity costs in its first year alone.