Washington leaders should acknowledge and prioritize the clear environmental and economic benefits of cultivating the solar industry in Washington. A new report by Environment Washington, Solar Works for Washington, illustrates a variety of ways to utilize solar energy in Washington, while also highlighting the environmental and economic benefits of encouraging solar development.
Environment Washington’s report shows how we can get 5.5 percent of our electricity needs through solar by 2025 by utilizing rooftop solar, solar hot water heaters and utility scale solar. Fostering a thriving solar industry in Washington could create thousands of installation, maintenance and manufacturing jobs, and position Washington to become a national leader for the growing industry.
The first and most crucial step is for our state’s leadership to outline a clear vision for Washington’s clean energy future. That’s why I’m calling on Gov. Jay Inslee, who supported clean energy on the campaign trail, to set a goal of installing 150,000 solar rooftops in Washington by 2020.
Setting this goal would give lawmakers a clear target around which to center energy-related legislation, and achieving it would help create a sustainable economy for Washington’s future.