The Alberta government just added a solar-powered boost to its climate change platform by providing more than $5.5 million to help farms and municipal buildings install solar panel arrays. This is a great first step, but we need more to make sure every co-op, homeowner, small farm, First Nation and Métis community is able to participate in solar energy production — not just the big players.
Alberta has the highest solar power potential in all of Canada (and 30% more than solar superstar Germany!), so we really can have #Solar4All if we commit to providing real opportunities for communities to take part. Our federal and provincial governments still subsidize fossil fuels by a staggering $3.6 billion a year -- it's time to cut off polluters and start using these funds to build a sustainable energy system that will provide good green jobs, a stable climate, and clean water and air for years to come.
Here's what we're calling for the provincial government to do:
1. The best place for this energy transition to start is in the First Nations, Métis, and other communities that are on the front lines of climate change and fossil fuel extraction. We're asking the government to prioritize support for solar installations in these communities first.
2. Allow small-scale solar producers to sell their power back to the grid. Current regulations only let homeowners, small businesses, and anyone else with an installation under 1 MW to receive some of this money back as credit to their utility bill, not as profit.
3. Set up a robust solar incentive program that would extend to all community co-ops, homeowners, and small businesses.
Sign on to tell Premier Rachel Notley and Environment Minister Shannon Phillips that we are serious about jump-starting our solar energy industry - and we need their support!
You can read more about the benefits of community solar on the Greenpeace Canada blog here!
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