With home solar systems, both of these problems can be mitigated. The EV is able to be charged right at home, from clean energy generated in the exact same spot. And rooftop solar generates no emissions, as well cutting down on the amount of power needed from the grid, which is likely produced (at least in part) from non-renewable sources.
On that note, 25% of emissions in the U.S. come from energy production. There’s obviously a much more direct correlation here. That is, the more people who rely on solar panels, the less harmful air pollution power plants and refineries will spew out into the atmosphere, disproportionately affecting those in lower income communities.
While this gives us a ray of hope, in the face of concrete data showing the pollutants ailing many of these communities, it can seem like an idyllic fantasy. Fortunately, though, it’s not.
Using Solar To Help Low Income Communities
Sunrun’s mission from the beginning has been to create a planet run by the sun. And a big part of that belief stems from our conviction in transforming our energy system so everyone under the sun can benefit. The recent retirement of the Oakland Power Plant provided an opportunity to further that mission in a serious way.
The power previously generated by burning jet fuel couldn’t just disappear, residents still needed a source of electricity. So Surun partnered with East Bay Community Energy in Oakland, California, to ensure the new power source for many in the less affluent areas of West Oakland (and Alameda County at large) wouldn’t be the same source poisoning their air.