The Future of Solar Energy in North Georgia
As the climate crisis continues to ravage the United States with more frequent and severe droughts, forest fires, hurricanes, flooding and other natural disasters, it is abundantly clear that the transfer from fossil fuels to clean and renewable energy is urgent and essential. A recent paper in Environmental Research Letters, drawing on evidence from a literature review of more than 200 journal articles, concludes that not only is urgent action necessary to facilitate the transition to clean energy, but that the transition may be less expensive than originally predicted because prior studies failed to account for the decrease in costs resulting from the rapid large scale conversion to clean energy sources such as wind and solar. Solar power is energy from the sun that is converted into electric or thermal energy, and is the cleanest and most abundant renewable energy source available. For the past decade, the solar market in the United States has grown at an average rate of 42% per year. The International Energy Agency (IEA) states that solar energy now offers the cheapest electricity in history.
In addition, Georgia has one of the strongest solar programs in the country. You can find out more about it by going to the website, Conservatives for Clean Energy at https://www.cleanenergyconservatives.com. With its abundance of sunshine and large tracts of rural land, north Georgia is a prime candidate for a wide variety of benefits from solar applications. Solar farms provide jobs and economic development in addition to clean, efficient, and noiseless energy. Companies such as Walmart, Google and Facebook are requiring that solar power be available in order to move their operations to a particular locality.
The North Georgia Conservation Coalition (NGCC) is engaging with local school and governmental authorities to explore opportunities to employ solar power applications throughout northern Georgia. They have met with Dr. Gibbs, Chair Thurmond, Mayor Eason, City Manager Bob Bolz, Clean Cities Georgia, and Solar CrowdSource to talk about the possibilities of saving money for the schools, the county and the city by installing solar, purchasing some electric vehicles (EV’s) and installing EV chargers.
If you would like to become involved with efforts to take advantage of solar energy in our communities, there is a meeting of the North Georgia Conservation Coalition scheduled for July 15 at 6 pm at the Dawson County Public Library. All are welcome to attend.
Another way to help advance solar energy in northern Georgia is to take advantage of the Sawnee EMC’s virtual solar program. This program allows its members the opportunity to purchase solar power, regardless of their location. For more information on this program visit https://www.sawnee.com/virtual-solar .
It is time for Dawson County to join the rest of Georgia in saving money and reducing carbon emissions by exploring clean energy, installing solar and buying electric vehicles!
Terri Dudis, Dawsonville