Time to go big on solar

For Immediate Release

Boston – At a State House hearing today, environmental organizations and solar industry leaders asked elected officials to eliminate obstacles and adopt bold new policies to tap into Massachusetts’ solar energy potential.

Advocates delivered a letter signed by 50 environmental and civic organizations and solar businesses urging action on solar policy.

Ben Hellerstein, State Director for Environment Massachusetts, issued the following statement:

“Our potential to generate clean energy from the sun is practically limitless. But all too often, arbitrary policy barriers stand in the way of families and businesses that want to go solar.

“Massachusetts can do better. By eliminating obstacles, expanding access to solar, and setting big goals, we can produce more and more of our energy from pollution-free sources.

“I encourage members of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy to accelerate our progress toward 100% renewable energy by advancing bold solar legislation this session.”

The letter recommends policies to encourage the growth of solar energy across three categories:

  • Eliminating arbitrary obstacles, such as the caps on net metering;
  • Expanding access to solar energy for environmental justice communities, low-income families, and renters; and
  • Setting ambitious targets and expanding the market for solar energy (for example, by requiring rooftop solar on new residential, commercial, and government buildings).

In the last 10 years, solar energy has grown more than 240-fold in Massachusetts. With rooftop solar panels alone, Massachusetts could generate up to 47% of its electricity from solar, according to a study from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.