Local expert weighs in on push for more solar power


CARBONDALE (WSIL) — Solar energy could play a big role in transitioning the country’s power sector to cleaner energy. That’s according to a new study by the U.S. Department of Energy.

A new report shows solar energy has the potential to power 40 percent of the nation’s electricity by 2035.

"What you’re seeing is that just through the investments and the encouragement through all of the political agencies in Germany, they’ve gotten the ball rolling. We could do that so much easier than they could so it’s totally possible," says Saxon Metzger, Program Director for Solarize Southern Illinois.

RELATED: Pres. Biden sets ambitious goal for solar energy

The Solar Futures study details the role solar energy will have in decarbonizing the power grid.

"Not only is it just incredible in terms of environmental impact but it also from an economic perspective just makes totally since. In particular for somewhere like Southern Illinois, where you’re seeing, it’s one of the fasted growing job markets in the country and it’s guaranteed that the sun’s going to be there generating electricity," explains Metzger.

According to the report, increasing solar energy usage would employ as many 1.5 million people without increasing the cost of electricity prices.

"We’re only about two to three percent saturated in terms of solar. That means only about a handful of a percent that could go solar in our southern Illinois region are doing so. We just think that, that is such a wonderful untapped market," adds Metzger.

Metzger adds he’s happy to see government agencies moving toward clean energy. "Basically 50 percent of all of the electricity needed in the City of Carbondale for it’s municipal buildings got replaced by three solar facilities. Which is huge. That reduced the City of Carbondale’s admissions by 25 percent."

Metzger says solar energy can be difficult to understand but Solarize Southern Illinois is an educational non-profit organization to assist home and business owners on the path the renewable energy.

via WSIL

September 8, 2021 at 07:53PM

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