America’s Solar Boom, in Charts

Here are some great numbers and news about the solar growth in the U.S.! Spread the word that we need to grow solar in N.C. one rooftop at a time to protect our water, air, land and our health!

Here Comes the Sun: America’s Solar Boom, in Charts
It’s been a bit player, but solar power is about to shine.

Tim McDonnell
Nov. 7, 2014

Last week, an energy analyst at Deutsche Bank came to a startling conclusion: By 2016, solar power will be as cheap or cheaper than electricity from the conventional grid in every state except three. That’s without any changes to existing policy. In other words, we’re only a few years away from the point where, in most of the United States, there will be no economic reason not to go solar. If you care about slowing climate change or just moving toward cleaner energy, that is a huge deal.

And solar energy is already going gangbusters. In the past decade, the amount of solar power produced in the United States has leaped 139,000 percent. A number of factors are behind the boom: Cheaper panels and a raft of local and state incentives, plus a federal tax credit that shaves 30 percent off the cost of upgrading.

Still, solar is a bit player, providing less than half of 1 percent of the energy produced in the United States. But its potential is massive—it could power the entire country 100 times over.

So what’s the holdup? A few obstacles: pushback from old-energy diehards, competition with other efficient energy sources, and the challenges of power storage and transmission. But with solar in the Southwest already at “grid parity”—meaning it costs the same or less as electricity from conventional sources—Wall Street is starting to see solar as a sound bet. As a recent Citigroup investment report put it, “Our viewpoint is that solar is here to stay.”

Some numbers that tell the story:

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installation graph

 

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graph 1

 

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countries graph
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Sources

Solar growth: Solar Energy Industries Association

New solar installations: SEIA

Sunlight: Sandia National Lab, Energy Information Administration/National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Electricity generating capacity: SEIA

Carbon savings, electricity demand: SEIA, EIA/NREL

Installed PV capacity: International Energy Agency

Solar jobs: The Solar Foundation, Bureau of Labor Statistics

Solar panels on a typical house: NREL

Panel cost, VC funding: Greenpeace; Mercom Capital Group (2013 & 2014)

 

Image credits: Shutterstock (Earth, USA); Maurizio Fusillo/Noun Project (solar panel); Okan Benn/Noun Project (car); Q. Li/Noun Project (chart); Sergey Krivoy/Noun Project (coal trolley); Marcio Duarte/Noun Project (worker); Alex Berkowitz/Noun Project (cash)  

http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2014/11/solar-energy-power-boom-charts

Nov 20 Discussion with Annie Leonard: Renewable Energy and Education

Have followed Annie Leonard’s journey. Can’t wait to meet and hear from her on these topics.

Annie L in Charlotte

Discussion with Annie Leonard: Renewable Energy and Education

Thursday, November 20, 2014
6:00pm – 8:00pm

Midwood International Auditorium
1817 Central Ave, Charlotte, NC 28205

Join “Story of Stuff” creator, and Greenpeace executive director, Annie Leonard for an interactive discussion of the local and global implications of energy choices. The renewable energy revolution is sweeping the nation and Charlotte can help lead the charge. Mingling and free pizza followed by a Annie’s keynote and lessons from NC solar schools.

HOSTED BY GREENPEACE

“The alarm bells keep ringing, our citizens keep marching. We must answer the call”

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If you haven”t read this yet it’s worth a read. If you like what you read, send the link to your friends and neighbors, post on Facebook. It’s time for action!

Obama to UN: “The Alarm Bells Keep Ringing, Our Citizens Keep Marching”
Transcript of U.S. President Barack Obama’s remarks at the UN Climate Summit in New York today:

For all the immediate challenges that we gather to address this week — terrorism, instability, inequality, disease — there’s one issue that will define the contours of this century more dramatically than any other, and that is the urgent and growing threat of a changing climate.

Five years have passed since many of us met in Copenhagen. And since then, our understanding of climate change has advanced — both in the deepening science that says this once-distant threat has moved “firmly into the present,” and into the sting of more frequent extreme weather events that show us exactly what these changes may mean for future generations.

No nation is immune. In America, the past decade has been our hottest on record. Along our eastern coast, the city of Miami now floods at high tide. In our west, wildfire season now stretches most of the year. In our heartland, farms have been parched by the worst drought in generations, and drenched by the wettest spring in our history. A hurricane left parts of this great city dark and underwater. And some nations already live with far worse. Worldwide, this summer was the hottest ever recorded — with global carbon emissions still on the rise.

So the climate is changing faster than our efforts to address it. The alarm bells keep ringing. Our citizens keep marching. We cannot pretend we do not hear them. We have to answer the call. We know what we have to do to avoid irreparable harm. We have to cut carbon pollution in our own countries to prevent the worst effects of climate change. We have to adapt to the impacts that, unfortunately, we can no longer avoid. And we have to work together as a global community to tackle this global threat before it is too late.

We cannot condemn our children, and their children, to a future that is beyond their capacity to repair. Not when we have the means — the technological innovation and the scientific imagination — to begin the work of repairing it right now.

As one of America’s governors has said, “We are the first generation to feel the impact of climate change and the last generation that can do something about it.” So today, I’m here personally, as the leader of the world’s largest economy and its second largest emitter, to say that we have begun to do something about it.

The United States has made ambitious investments in clean energy, and ambitious reductions in our carbon emissions. We now harness three times as much electricity from the wind and 10 times as much from the sun as we did when I came into office. Within a decade, our cars will go twice as far on a gallon of gas, and already, every major automaker offers electric vehicles. We’ve made unprecedented investments to cut energy waste in our homes and our buildings and our appliances, all of which will save consumers billions of dollars. And we are committed to helping communities build climate-resilient infrastructure.

So, all told, these advances have helped create jobs, grow our economy, and drive our carbon pollution to its lowest levels in nearly two decades — proving that there does not have to be a conflict between a sound environment and strong economic growth.

Over the past eight years, the United States has reduced our total carbon pollution by more than any other nation on Earth. But we have to do more. Last year, I issued America’s first Climate Action Plan to double down on our efforts. Under that plan, my administration is working with states and utilities to set first-ever standards to cut the amount of carbon pollution our power plants can dump into the air. And when completed, this will mark the single most important and significant step the United States has ever taken to reduce our carbon emissions.

Last week alone, we announced an array of new actions in renewable energy and energy efficiency that will save consumers more than $10 billion on their energy bills and cut carbon pollution by nearly 300 million metric tons through 2030. That’s the equivalent of taking more than 60 million cars off the road for one year.

I also convened a group of private sector leaders who’ve agreed to do their part to slash consumption of dangerous greenhouse gases known as HFCs — slash them 80 percent by 2050. And already, more than 100 nations have agreed to launch talks to phase down HFCs under the Montreal Protocol — the same agreement the world used successfully to phase out ozone-depleting chemicals. This is something that President Xi of China and I have worked on together. Just a few minutes ago, I met with Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli, and reiterated my belief that as the two largest economies and emitters in the world, we have a special responsibility to lead. That’s what big nations have to do. (Applause.)

And today, I call on all countries to join us -– not next year, or the year after, but right now, because no nation can meet this global threat alone. The United States has also engaged more allies and partners to cut carbon pollution and prepare for the impacts we cannot avoid. All told, American climate assistance now reaches more than 120 nations around the world. We’re helping more nations skip past the dirty phase of development, using current technologies, not duplicating the same mistakes and environmental degradation that took place previously.

We’re partnering with African entrepreneurs to launch clean energy projects. We’re helping farmers practice climate-smart agriculture and plant more durable crops. We’re building international coalitions to drive action, from reducing methane emissions from pipelines to launching a free trade agreement for environmental goods. And we have been working shoulder-to-shoulder with many of you to make the Green Climate Fund a reality.
But let me be honest. None of this is without controversy. In each of our countries, there are interests that will be resistant to action. And in each country, there is a suspicion that if we act and other countries don’t that we will be at an economic disadvantage. But we have to lead. That is what the United Nations and this General Assembly is about.

Now, the truth is, is that no matter what we do, some populations will still be at risk. The nations that contribute the least to climate change often stand to lose the most. And that’s why, since I took office, the United States has expanded our direct adaptation assistance eightfold, and we’re going to do more.

Today, I’m directing our federal agencies to begin factoring climate resilience into our international development programs and investments. And I’m announcing a new effort to deploy the unique scientific and technological capabilities of the United States, from climate data to early-warning systems. So this effort includes a new partnership that will draw on the resources and expertise of our leading private sector companies and philanthropies to help vulnerable nations better prepare for weather-related disasters, and better plan for long-term threats like steadily rising seas.

Yes, this is hard. But there should be no question that the United States of America is stepping up to the plate. We recognize our role in creating this problem; we embrace our responsibility to combat it. We will do our part, and we will help developing nations do theirs. But we can only succeed in combating climate change if we are joined in this effort by every nation –- developed and developing alike. Nobody gets a pass.

The emerging economies that have experienced some of the most dynamic growth in recent years have also emitted rising levels of carbon pollution. It is those emerging economies that are likely to produce more and more carbon emissions in the years to come. So nobody can stand on the sidelines on this issues. We have to set aside the old divides. We have to raise our collective ambition, each of us doing what we can to confront this global challenge.
This time, we need an agreement that reflects economic realities in the next decade and beyond. It must be ambitious –- because that’s what the scale of this challenge demands. It must be inclusive –- because every country must play its part. And, yes, it must be flexible –- because different nations have different circumstances.

Five years ago, I pledged America would reduce our carbon emissions in the range of 17 percent below 2005 levels by the year 2020. America will meet that target. And by early next year, we will put forward our next emission target, reflecting our confidence in the ability of our technological entrepreneurs and scientific innovators to lead the way.

So today, I call on all major economies to do the same. For I believe, in the words of Dr. King, that there is such a thing as being too late. And for the sake of future generations, our generation must move toward a global compact to confront a changing climate while we still can.

This challenge demands our ambition. Our children deserve such ambition. And if we act now, if we can look beyond the swarm of current events and some of the economic challenges and political challenges involved, if we place the air that our children will breathe and the food that they will eat and the hopes and dreams of all posterity above our own short-term interests, we may not be too late for them.

While you and I may not live to see all the fruits of our labor, we can act to see that the century ahead is marked not by conflict, but by cooperation; not by human suffering, but by human progress; and that the world we leave to our children, and our children’s children, will be cleaner and healthier, and more prosperous and secure.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-09-23/obama-to-un-the-alarm-bells-keep-ringing-our-citizens-keep-marching-.html

 

Memories and Images of the Peoples Climate March

Thanks to long time Sierra Club member Nancy Bryant for this great message!

Memories of the “Great March”

Nancy C. Bryant

On Saturday, 8pm, September 20, our charter bus, along with nine other buses from NC, took off for New York City for the People’s Climate March the next day. The 55 people on our bus were to join what we had hoped would be 250,000 others, but which would become 400,000 at the final tally.

Now, why would 400,000 people come from all over the US and Norway and Canada, and who knows how many other counties, to march for one day? People of all ages, all colors, cultures and backgrounds. People singing, playing instruments, chanting, shouting, carrying signs and posters and waving flags and flying birds and giant parachutes, people walking, in strollers, in wheelchairs, on floats, on bikes, on scooters, on roller skates, dancing, prancing……..

I’ll tell you why. Because they care about what is happening to this, our fragile planet earth. They care about the future of their children and grandchildren and all living things on this earth. They care about the climate that is now changing so rapidly that we see it in front of our eyes, if we look about and pay attention to the climate. Just ask the farmers who were there. Just ask our local farmers. They want fossil fuels to continue being replaced with renewal energy sources, not 10 years from now, not 50 years from now, but now. They want the fracking to stop. They want our climate to get back into balance instead of heating up.

At first, my stepson, Jeep Bryant, and I marched with the contingent of people of faith and scientists, but later we joined the indigenous peoples of the world. There were people from labor, families, students, elders, environmental justice, community groups, neighborhood groups, the City Council of NYC, the head of the UN, movie and pop culture advocates – every possible group of people concerned about the issues.

The people who marched were marching with hope and exhilaration, knowing that millions more of us would also march for our fragile earth and the future for generations to come if they could. Deb from Anson, James from Montgomery and Harry from Richmond, my busmates, join me in saying that it was a highlight of our lives to be marching on Sunday, sharing the hope of a better world.

And now for some scenes from the People’s Climate Change March.

Enjoy the memories. Rekindle the passion. Take some action on the Climate Cris today and everyday…

PCM ImagesPCM Art and Photos

And for a special treat, listen to the “Voices of the the Peoples Climate March” by Brian Kasher

The audio stream includes over forty (40) mini-interviews; street music from: the Second Line Social Aid and Pleasure Society Brass Band, Rocket McFlyy, the Raging Grannies and more; chants, Central Park crickets, police helicopters, and general crowd ambiance. Two-hundred fifty three (253) sounds clips were recorded during the March.

PCM Voices 1

Solarize Salisbury-Rowan Kickoff – Oct 2

Here’s an announcement about another Solarize program! This movement is  sweeping across North Carolina. All the best on this launch!!

Dear Friends,

I want to personally invite you to the launch of our new and exciting program called “Solarize Salisbury-Rowan” held in partnership with SmartPower. Please join us to learn how this campaign can help our community go solar.

Solarize Salisbury-Rowan Kick-Off 
Lee Street Theatre 
329 N. Lee Street, Salisbury 
Thursday, October 2 
5:00 pm to 7:00 pm

We are excited to have Brian F. Keane, President of SmartPower and author of Green Is Good: Save Money, Make Money, and Help Your Community Profit from Clean Energy to start the brief program portion of the event at 6:00 pm. Lane Wallace, Community Outreach Manager for Solarize Salisbury-Rowan, and I will then give a short highlight of the 12-week Solarize campaign that will make it easy for homeowners and businesses to go solar and to learn about the significant financial savings.

At the event, we’ll be able to tell you if your home is a good candidate for solar. We have reached a point now where it is not how much it will cost if you do install solar, but instead how much you will lose if you don’t.
Bring a friend or two and come enjoy our celebration and opportunity to network, to learn and simply have a good time!  Although the campaign is named Solarize Salisbury-Rowan, anyone from this region is invited to the event and to participate.

Life Size, a talented band with its root in the music department at Catawba College, will provide some great music. A cash bar and some light hors d’oeuvres will be available.

Please register for this event at:  CenterForTheEnvironment.
Hope to see you there!
John E. Wear, Ph.D.
Executive Director
Center for the Environment at Catawba College
2300 West Innes Street
Salisbury, North Carolina 28144
centerfortheenvironment.org
704-637-4738

2nd Charlotte Bus to New York City – Limited Seats, Sign Up Today!

I’m pleased to announce that we have secured funding for a second bus from Charlotte to New York City for the Sept 21 People’s Climate March!!!!! This brings the number of confirmed PCM North Carolina buses to 7!

There are a limited numbers of seats and we expect the bus to fill up fast. Reserve your seat at http://www.eventbrite.com/e/charlotte-bus-to-nyc-peoples-climate-march-2nd-bus-tickets-12941459253.

 

Charlotte to New York City for the People’s Climate March – 2nd Bus

Tentative Timetable
Exact times and locations are being finalized and will be announced shortly.

Saturday, Sept 20 – Location TBD. Sign in at 7:30 PM. Bus pulls out at 8:00 PM sharp!

Sunday, Sept 21 – Stop along New Jersey Turnpike for breakfast. Drop off in NYC at 9:00 AM.
Participate in March (11:30 – 3:30, approximate times). Pick up in same location (Time TBD).

Monday, Sept 22 – Arrive Charlotte approximately 4:00 AM (same location)

Cost (Round trip)
General ticket – $25 + $2.37 Eventbrite fee

Register Today – Only 55 total seats available!
Please register by Monday, Sept 8th, to assure your seat!

Yes!, I want to Get On The Bus

For more information contact: Bill Gupton at wmgupton@aol.com

2nd Charlotte Bus Flyer2nd Bus PCM Charlotte to NYC

Calling All Charlotte Clergy, Lay Leaders, and Congregants – Speak Out on Climate Change Sept 9th

“We have a moral obligation to future generations to leave our land, water and wildlife better than we found it.”

~ Sally Jewell, U.S. Secretary of the Interior

from Dealing with Climate Change: A Moral Obligation

We need your voice on September 9th at Myers Park Baptist Church for a Citizen’s Climate Hearing on the EPA’s Clean Power Plan.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Clean Power Plan is a historic measure calling for strong carbon pollution reductions to combat the worst effects of climate disruption. Now in the public comment period, the EPA needs to hear from concerned citizens that want strong protections from carbon pollution. This is a critical moment for North Carolinians to make sure our voice is heard. Citizens from across NC will gather at Myers Park Baptist Church to give oral testimony, which will be recorded and submitted as official comments to the EPA. Join us as we call on the EPA to take swift and strong action on climate for North Carolina.

What can you do?

As a Charlotte clergy – Plan to attend and speak! Ask other clergy to join you. Post the flyer and/or an announcement on your website and on your calendar. Include an announcement in your e-updates. Mention the hearing at your Sabbath service this coming weekend and encourage your congregants to join you. Spread the word!

As a Lay Leader – Plan to attend and speak! Ask other lay leaders to join you. Make sure that there are hearing announcements on your website, calendar, etc.  Spread the word through your networks of friends and on social media.

As a Charlotte Congregant – Plan to attend and speak! Ask other congregants to join you.  Spread the word through your networks of friends and on social media. Commit to bringing 3 friends with you.

Charlotte Interfaith Call for Action on Climate Change

Free Solar Tours Preceding the Hearing – 5:00 and 5:30 PM

Citizen’s Climate Hearing
September 9th
Myers Park Baptist Church
Heaton Hall
1900 Queens Rd, Charlotte, NC 28207
6:00-8:00 PM

 
Format
• Please limit oral comments to 3 minutes (typically 400 – 450 words)
• Please bring a copy of prepared comments for the court reporter (optional)
• Written comments may be of any length and submitted without public speaking

For more information, contact Renee Reese sierraclub.centpiedpublicity@gmail.com.

See also our Facebook Charlotte Citizens’ Climate Hearinghttps://www.facebook.com/events/845313815488006/

Interfaith Citizens Hearing 3Charlotte Interfaith Call for Action on Climate Change