Why can’t we all just get along? It’s a question we’ve all heard before, and usually I don’t have an easy answer — unless you are asking about solar power. The reason people disagree about solar power and treat it like a political issue is simply because politicians have falsely branded it as such.
Right, Left, and Center
The battle lines were drawn decades ago and solar power was inappropriately associated with one side of the political spectrum. What if solar power was first adopted by farmers throughout rural America? The adoption and support of solar power is so compelling because it quickly resonates with both hardline conservatives and liberals. Those on the far left and far right both see the benefits of solar power, however, it is the vast majority of us in the middle who have yet to catch on. Those on the left may favor solar power for its environmental benefits while those on the right may favor solar power for its symbolic independence. But both groups, agree that the energy independence, security, and long term investment potential provided by solar power is valuable as individuals as well as a nation.
Of the People, By the People, For the People
Is there anything more American than solar power? By installing solar modules on your home or business you are essentially placing a personal Declaration of Independence on your roof. The strength of our country was built from many people providing for themselves and then trading where there was mutual benefit. The future of our electric grid is taking a similar path where people all over the country are deciding to become their own power producers. Although the motivations across the political spectrum may vary, the end goals are the same: independence, security, and long term financial benefit.
Distributed Generation as a Challenge to Centralization
In America there is a strong sentiment against centralization. America was founded as a challenge to centralization preferring a model of distributed governance, so it is often in our nature to prefer a balanced model which integrates a distributed element. Over 200 years ago we demanded a distributed government, in the past 20 years we’ve built a distributed model for information through the internet, and during the next 20 we will transition to a more distributed architecture for our energy needs. Solar power is the computer of our generation and the tool that will allow Americans to transition from energy consumers to energy producers.
Image Credit: blackcoffee.com
Bill Ehrlich is a blog contributor who works in the electrical industry. After graduating from Notre Dame with a degree in Finance he worked on a cattle ranch in Wyoming and then taught English in China. Returning home to the States he worked at Inovateus Solar, a solar integrator in South Bend, Indiana. Originally from Minnesota, he is currently getting his hands dirty doing electrical construction in the city of Chicago. Outside of work Bill enjoys investing, solar power, and most of all, investing in solar power!