This past weekend I was invited to speak about solar at the Yogis Beyond Coal event in downtown Asheville. As I thought about what I wanted to say, I thought about how important it is to remind ourselves of all that is going right. Dave and I started Sundance Power because, after years of Greenpeace and focusing on the many problems, we wanted to focus on the solutions. We wanted to LIVE the solution. And solar is a solution! Dave and I started Sundance back in 1995 and we’ve been living in a solar home for that long as well. I really love living on solar- it works better than the grid (we never lose power), it feels good and it makes me happy.
So- let’s take a few moments and just enjoy all that is good and joyful. For example- the price of residential PV systems continues to come down. Right now, solar is costing in the neighborhood of $3.50 per watt and it is predicted that soon, about 2018 – even if coal were free to burn, power stations won’t be able to compete with solar. (say what? – yea- check it here: solar win.) With solar there is no mining, no burning, no coal ash ponds, no toxic burden, no compromise- solar makes use of the sun, which is shining and sending us energy, whether we use it or not.
Yogis beyond Coal is about shutting down the coal fired power plants- as you must know by now, coal fired power plants represent the biggest contribution to global warming, not to mention all of the local health hazards posed for the neighbors of coal fired plants. The thing is – we no longer need to be held hostage by the utilities. It has never been easier to go solar and NC is one of the best places in the United States to go solar! NC is actually #2 in the nation for installed PV in 2013 (woo hoo) AND- more people are now employed in the solar industry than in the mining industry AND Germany produced a record 50% of its electricity needs through solar in the first part of June- a huge milestone on the march to renewable energy!
The reality is that each solar system installed is a victory. Each system is a step towards the world we want to live in. Through the Solarize Asheville program, Sundance has been able to install 50 new solar systems in the area- these systems will displace 226,000 lbs of coal, each year. These systems will also result in 210 metric tons of carbon dioxide NOT going into the atmosphere.
And- here is more about the Yogis Beyond Coal gathering this past weekend. In addition to learning how to defeat Coal and move forward with renewables, YBC also raised $270 for Homeward Bound- our featured community connection this month. There is a whole lot of good going on right now – and you can be a part of it! Truly, there has never been a better time to go solar- give us a call – Sierra Hollister