Conservatives for Clean Energy Virginia’s Executive Director, Christopher West, recently went on WRVA Morning News with host John Reid to talk about the growing demand for solar energy in Virginia. Virginia is seeing unprecedented growth in solar energy across the Commonwealth. In particular, rural Virginia is experiencing the most growth. Solar farms are a great fit for rural communities and provide numerous benefits. Solar farms maintain the quiet, peaceful landscape and preserve the land for future use. Solar allows farmers an additional opportunity to use their land for greater economic security. Finally, solar brings a substantial economic impact – from the construction jobs, to the increased revenue of property taxes.
Much of this growth is being driven by the private sector and the free-market demand for cleaner and cheaper energy sources. More than 43 Virginia companies are committed to powering their operations with 100% renewable energy. In addition, 21 of Virginia’s 50 largest employers have set targets to procure more clean energy. It is not just businesses though, it is individual consumers too. 86% of Virginia voters agree that Virginia should give consumers more choices about to transition to clean energy, and 82% of voters want to put more emphasis on solar power as a source of energy in the Commonwealth.
The financial benefits of going solar are growing. Solar panel systems actually function as investments with strong rates of return, and homeowners generating solar electricity can avoid paying increased utility rates by eliminating their electricity bills. Solar installations are 53% lower in Virginia than they were in 2013. This means a homeowner could pay for the investment in 10 years or less, resulting in at least 15 years of free power. Over 76% of voters agree that investing in solar panels and making buildings more energy efficient will save money in the long run.
You can listen to the full interview below.