It’s here, the first perfect spring day. Minnesotans have been waiting for this day since snowflakes hit the ground, and with the sun hitting my neck and warming my skin I can’t help but think about how that warmth can actually create energy.
Solar power has been a frequent and persistent topic of discussion in news outlets across the state this year. We have seen everything from praise to ridicule. I have heard advertisements for community solar with companies like SunShare on the radio, and I have read letters from residents in rural areas who have qualms with solar being so close to their property lines and taking up farm land. As the future of solar is continually in the spotlight, I am hopeful that the issues will be solved, the rough edges smoothed out, and the policies refined.
A recent report from Environment Minnesota, Shining Cities, shows that Minneapolis came in 35th out of 64 major cities across the U.S. for total solar installed. We don’t stand out as a solar city, but we do have the potential to become a leader in the solar movement if we take initiative. We need our state leaders to invest in rooftop solar on public and government owned buildings. We need strong pro-solar policies, and our community needs solar to be available and affordable so that we can take the opportunity to push solar forward as well. As summer approaches, I am more optimistic than ever that Minnesota, and Minneapolis can lead the way on solar.