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GREENPEACE SAYS SOLAR ENERGY MEANS
INDEPENDENCE FROM FOSSIL FUELS

 

WASHINGTON, DC, November 9, 2001 (ENS)

Solar energy should be a key component of any U.S. plan aimed at creating energy independence and jump starting the economy, suggests a new study by the conservation group Greenpeace.

The study, titled "Solar Promise," illustrates the job creation and pollution cutting potential of solar energy by describing the benefits that states could realize if they install a small solar array on just one of every 100 houses. "A small investment in solar power would light the way to energy independence, new jobs and reduced pollution for every state in the nation," said Kert Davies, Greenpeace global warming and energy campaign coordinator. "Solar power is safe, practical and clean. And best of all, you don't have to import it or plunder precious wilderness to get it."

Voters in San Francisco handed the solar industry an endorsement Tuesday by passing two ballot measures that provide funding for developing up to 50 megawatts (MW) of solar energy in the city - enough power for 10,000 average homes. "With today's vote, San Francisco has jumped ahead of the nation in starting to build an energy future independent of the whims of the big fossil fuel companies or the utilities," said Danny Kennedy, of Greenpeace's Clean Energy Now! campaign. "California's strong step forward with renewable energy won't mean much if other states don't follow its lead."

A recent Greenpeace report shows the United States is in danger of losing the solar race to other countries in Europe and Asia where governments have taken an active roll in promoting solar energy.

In the United States, Greenpeace found major differences between states in terms of the incentives they offer consumers for investing in solar power. States in the Sunbelt were not always the most solar intensive states. For example, New York has more installed solar power than Florida; and Nevada, low on the solar power list now, has major projects planned in the near future.

The "Solar Promise" study is available at: www.greenpeaceusa.org/energy/solar

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