Executive Director Claire Carlson's response to the Willamette Week's "Lies My Newspaper Told Me" cover story
The article [“Lies My Newspaper Told Me,” WW, March 14, 2012] addressed solar energy in Oregon but left out important aspects of Oregon’s celebrated—and growing—solar success story.
From Pendleton to Portland, homeowners statewide understand the benefits of solar power. Families, communities and military bases see residential solar as a smart, responsible investment, and the path toward energy independence.
Oregon has become a leading solar-industry hub, which has been critical to our economy and workforce. The manufacturing sector alone employs nearly 2,000, bringing jobs to Oregon throughout the recession while other industries shipped jobs overseas.
Shifting to carbon-neutral energy requires reducing consumption, but also replacing fossil-fuel generation with clean, renewable energy. WW opined that people should make their homes more efficient. People with solar know that better than most. Generally, homeowners who install solar are already more efficient than their counterparts. After installing solar, they become motivated to save even more. Incentive programs accelerate investments in both. Ninety percent of Energy Trust’s funds go toward efficiency. Thanks to demand created by solar incentive programs in Oregon and around the globe, the price of solar has dropped, and so have the incentives.
Oregonians recognize the urgent need to stop burning fossil fuels; they are leading a national push to retire coal plants. They know that solar is Oregon’s most abundant clean-energy source, and the fuel is free. They know that generating [solar] power at home is efficient. And they know that spinning the meter backward is fun.—Claire Carlson
Executive Director, Solar Oregon