Solar Solstice

Solar Solstice

Rooftop solar power keeps making leaps and bounds across the globe. On May 11th of this year, Germany generated 74% of its electricity needs from renewable sources and broke records for solar power generation. [1] The UK also broke solar power generation records this month and in Australia, it was estimated by the Renewable Energy Target review that Australian households will invest $30billion installing rooftop solar over the next few decades. It seems the solar solstice has arrived.

In North America, households, communities and businesses alike are getting excited about the success story of solar power. The Mountain Equipment Co-op flagship store on West Broadway in Vancouver recently unveiled their new 3 kW rooftop solar array that was built in conjunction with green energy company Bullfrog Power.

Built as part of the ‘Bullfrog Builds Renewable Accelerator’ program, it’s Vancouver’s first grid-connected solar installation that will not only power part of the MEC store, but also serve as a demonstration that even in places with nicknames like ‘Raincouver’ solar power works and contributes to a cleaner electrical grid.

The MEC Vancouver rooftop solar installation launch (image courtesy Bullfrog Power)

The accelerator program works by providing construction and development financing for Bullfrog Power customers looking to further green their electricity use. Ron Seftel, Senior VP of Operations with Bullfrog Power describes it as connecting “the support of our customers who bullfrogpower their homes and businesses with renewable energy projects across Canada”.

Green power companies like Bullfrog Power in Canada are not the only ones enabling communities and businesses to go solar. On June 21st to coincide with the summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, Mosaic – the US company that connects investors with communities and organizations that want to put solar on their roofs – launched a national day of action in partnership with NGOs calling for people to commit to ‘Put Solar on It’.

For the day of action, Mosaic launched a new platform called ‘Mosaic Places’ that allows people to support solar going into their communities. Each place on the site collects supporters, and for every 50 supporters, Mosaic donates $100 towards the installation of the panels.

Several community groups got involved in the day of action including schools through the Alliance for Climate Education and many other environmental NGOs who are getting solar onto places around the United States. In Oakland, CA a Mosaic homeowner held a party with her neighbors to get them to sign up for solar with the local Emerson Elementary School’s Mosaic Places page, raising them $2,500 and making Emerson Elementary School one of the most popular community places on the day.

Wisconsin Interfaith Power and Light and the Islamic Environmental Group of Wisconsin held a dialogue with representatives from the Jewish, Christian, Muslim and Baha’i faiths to discuss how they view climate change and how their religions encourage their members to act on it.

Wisconsin Interfaith Power and Light and Islamic Environmental Group of Wisconsin dialogue members (image courtesy of Mosaic)

To top it all off, the day of action even got a tweet from U.S. President Barack Obama.

President Obama’s tweet (image via Twitter courtesy Mosaic)

So while in Washington, Ottawa, Canberra and other national capitals the distracting debate around the existence of climate change still rages on, in the rest of the world, communities businesses, schools, churches and households are getting on with the transition away from fossil fuels and towards climate solutions. 


Blog image courtesy Bullfrog Power