Why Solar Energy? This is a question many ask. It is a question I asked recently, and I want to share with you a bit of the more interesting information I discovered about solar energy and solar projects in the great state of Minnesota.
The following is excerpted from the booklet “Creating and Implementing Your Community Solar Plan.” Maybe one day in the near future Saint Cloud, Minnesota will have a community solar energy project. Say… I think I’ll work on that, so stay tuned!
“I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy.
What a source of power!
I hope we don’t have to wait ’til oil and
coal run out before we tackle that.”
~ Thomas Edison
Solar Energy Minnesota
“We are all familiar with the risks associated with our society’s use of energy. Pollution from burning fossil fuels for their energy poses health risks that demand increasing levels of regulation on industry and individuals alike. Energy markets and energy demand forces continual compromises between the extraction of fossil fuels and the protection of wilderness areas. Global warming leads to massive shifts in climate patterns and threatens entire nations with eventual extinction.
Yet we often struggle to make good stewardship choices. The promise of renewable energy remains largely unfulfilled as the growth in fossil fuel use continues to outstrip investment in renewable energy resources and technologies. Solar energy, in particular, the most ubiquitous of energy resources and the most popular of energy choices, is difficult for individuals to take advantage of for a number of reasons:
- Solar energy systems cannot be purchased incrementally but instead require bulky investment;
- Individuals who want to invest in solar energy don’t have good solar access on their property;
- The equipment and technology is unfamiliar to most people;
- Contractors who understand installation details are difficult to find.
So how can we take action on our stewardship goals, take advantage of solar energy’s popularity, and build our community’s self-reliance? One vehicle for meeting these goals is a community solar project. A community solar project allows individuals to work together to achieve stewardship goals, to overcome the market barriers to solar investment, and to do so in a way that builds the capacity of our community organizations or institutions.”