The Green New Deal and Residential Solar

Solar Legislation
The Green New Deal and Residential Solar

The recent hyper-focus on global warming has brought with it a national push for the Green New Deal. The idea of the Green New Deal, however, isn’t that new.

The idea of becoming less fossil fuel dependent first came to light in the 1970s. However, the phrase “Green New Deal” was first used by Thomas Friedman, a journalist, in 2007.

Friedman used the term to reference the New Deal. Which was a myriad of social and economic reforms mixed with public works projects. President Roosevelt enforced the New Deal to help Americans during the great depression. 

Like the great depression, our nation and the world at large is facing another crisis. This is why measures to implement drastic change over a short period are being proposed.

Green New Deal Explained

Yale did a study to discover public opinion on the Green New Deal. People of differing policial views read a paragraph about the Green New Deal.

They were then asked whether they supported it. Of these participants, 81 percent supported the ideals of this legislation.

Photo Credit: Yale

Although this legislation has strong support from all parties, implementation is difficult. This is because there are differing opinions on how best to put these measures into practice. 

Currently, there are two different fronts the Green New Deal is being fought on. There is a push for green national policy and state policy.

National Green New Deal Resolution

In February of 2019, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez introduced the Green New Deal Resolution. This federal bill calls for 100 percent zero-emission energy sources within the next 10 years.

Its plan for executing this lofty goal is multidimensional. It calls for all existing buildings to receive energy-efficient upgrades. The bill also calls for a reduction in farm pollution.

It also seeks to implement an overhaul of the transportation sector. This would start with the increased installation of charging stations. However, it would also expand high-speed rail so the need for air travel can decrease.

These ambitious goals aren’t the only things this bill seeks to tackle though. It also promises job security and high-quality healthcare.

If this seems like an almost impossible task, don’t worry. The federal government agrees.

This is the reason this bill hasn’t gotten passed the House of Representatives. However, this doesn’t mean that green policy won’t go through.

State Level Green New Deals

Despite federal push back, several states already have green policies. 29 states had a renewable portfolio standard (RPS) in 2018. This means that these states all have some level of renewable energy benefits in place.

Photo Credit: Lawrence Berkely National Laboratory

Although these portfolio standards don’t cover everything, they are making a difference. These states have made immense progress towards zero emissions since implementing their RPS. As time progresses solar will continue to grow.

Solar’s Role in the Green New Deal

Solar already plays a large role in the transition from fossil fuels. This is because of green legislation like the federal solar tax credit. This credit has made solar a viable option for many Americans.

As the prices for solar panels decreases the demand for residential solar increases. This is because residential solar places production in the hands of the consumer.

Those that purchase solar don’t have to worry about rate increases because they pay a set price. This price is then either paid all at once or through a loan.

Regardless of industry ups and downs, the price a solar customer pays will not increase.  As more green policy comes on line so will residential solar arrays.

However, waiting for these policies before purchasing solar is not be a wise decision. This is because waiting would decrease the customer’s net present cash flow. This is the amount earned from an investment.

Those that can get solar now have a higher positive net present cash flow. This is because their utility provides all their electricity for longer.


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