Reducing Harmful Pollution
Most states in the Mid-Atlantic Area rely heavily on coal for electricity generation. According to the Energy Information Administration, energy-related carbon emissions account for the vast majority of climate-altering greenhouse gases, with coal-generated electricity accounting for the largest portion. Coal combustion is also responsible for the emission of major air pollutants such as sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, particulate matter, and other greenhouse gases.
The National Research Council found that human health and infrastructure damages stemming from electricity generation amounted to $62 billion in 2005. On an electricity price basis, this equates to 3.2 cents for every kilowatt-hour produced that year. Society was forced to pay these external costs even if they were not reflected on electricity bills.
By displacing conventional electricity generation, solar energy can play an important role in improving air quality. According to the Department of Energy, many states are already employing solar energy for the specific purpose of emission reductions.
Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions
The mounting evidence for climate change has resulted in the need to sharply reduce carbon emissions globally. Impacts from extreme weather events and rising temperatures are already affecting cities and populations across many regions, presenting a serious threat to the global economy and to global security.
Over the next few years, there is a strong likelihood that legislation creating federal renewable energy requirements and a price on carbon will be put into effect. Solar power can serve effectively under either regime by providing clean, renewable energy as an alternative to new fossil fuel-powered generation capacity.
With a higher rate of installed solar capacity per dollar invested than the solar industy average, our investments generate superior carbon reductions. Our investors and project partners are proud of their contribution to a cleaner and more secure environment. Although the problem of climate change cannot be solved by any single technology alone, solar power can play a critical role due to its geographic range, technological maturity, and its inherent advantage for distributed deployment.