Each day it becomes increasingly clear that the world is facing a global climate emergency. In addition to the overwhelming evidence of increasing temperatures and destruction in the natural world, energy security has now forced its way into public awareness, driven by recent events in Ukraine. The realization that our own fossil fuel purchases fund the regimes that seek to harm our societies and values is jarring. The need for local, clean energy has never been clearer.
The fastest way to decelerate global climate change is through demand reduction, large-scale renewables, and grid modernization. But these solutions alone are insufficient. Real change depends on a change in mindset and perspective, and these changes are almost always the result of direct experience. What we see, feel and do matters, and herein lies the role of community solar.
Community solar projects are medium-scale, local, clean energy generators. They are built in fields and on rooftops close to the communities they serve. When you sign up for community solar, you are directly supporting a new clean energy project that will be built and connected to the local electrical grid. You can see, drive to and visit the project. After the project turns on, the electricity that flows from the project replaces energy from fossil fuels, lowering emissions for the entire community. By participating in a project, you learn that there is no change to how you receive electricity. Everything is exactly the same, your power is simply cleaner, and you save a little money. There is something visceral about realizing that your individual action brought about this change. This experience may motivate you to make other changes in your life that further reduce carbon emissions, like switching to an electric vehicle, or electrifying your home’s heating and cooking.
Community solar is a small part of the renewable energy solution set, but I believe it plays a critical one with respect to mindset, and that’s why today I’m proud to announce that Common Energy has closed an important investment that will enable us to expand our business and impact, and change more minds. In the S2G Ventures and Builders Vision teams, I’ve found partners who understand our business and genuinely care about impact. Their $16.5 million investment will enable Common Energy to greatly expand and improve the experiences of the two key customers we serve: the households and businesses who support community solar projects; and the independent power producers who build them.
Our next goal is to serve one million households with community solar projects, approximately a 100x increase on where we are today. In doing so, Common Energy will help prevent 3.6 million tons of carbon emissions each year, while saving consumers approximately $72 million per year on their electricity.
To succeed in this mission Common Energy will need a larger team, and if you’d like to use your talents to help us make a better future, I encourage you to apply for an open position on our careers page: here.