Millions of Americans are deciding to power their homes with solar energy—especially as costs have decreased—but an investment in solar generates more than just clean energy. It can support household savings, energy independence, economic opportunities, grid resilience and security, and a safer planet. The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) launched the Connect the Dots on Solar Energy campaign to shed light on the many benefits of solar energy and to help make sense of the solar energy landscape while providing a variety of ways people can do their part in the clean energy transition.
Solar technology has a major role to play in the equitable transition to a decarbonized electricity system by 2035. As the director of SETO, I get to see first-hand solar energy’s impact on the nation and how we can do even more. For example, the Community Power AcceleratorTM, which focuses on growing access to solar for those who have been left out of the solar industry to date, is investing $10 million in a prize competition to accelerate community solar in underrepresented communities. Innovative practices like solar and agriculture co-location, called agrivoltaics, offer farms and agricultural businesses the opportunity to power their daily operations with solar energy and diversify their revenue streams. And our SolSmart program is working with hundreds of communities that want to enable more people and businesses to go solar.
We want to ensure that Americans know how our work translates into real-world benefits for individuals, communities, the nation, and the planet. That’s why, throughout 2023, SETO will break down the various benefits that solar energy generates and highlight how SETO’s work helps to expand those benefits. SETO will tell the story of how our work grows and enhances the many benefits solar energy generates for consumers, businesses, communities, and the country at large.
The benefits that the campaign focuses on include:
- Creating household savings
- Generating broader economic opportunities
- Maintaining power through - and recovering from - extreme weather and disruptions, such as cyber threats
- Owning your energy production
- Benefitting the environment
The decision to go solar is not one to be made lightly. That is why we are connecting the dots on solar energy: in the hopes of providing a big picture perspective of solar energy investments and their enduring, long-term benefits. Please join us on this year-long journey to better understand the different ways to get involved with and reap the benefits of solar energy.
Follow along with our Connect the Dots content on social media and join the conversation using the hashtag #ConnectSolar and sign up for our newsletter for updates throughout the year.
Thinking about taking the plunge into solar energy? Check out our Homeowner’s Guide to Going Solar to learn about how to get the process started.