ORONO- Since the Obama Administration finalized the Clean Power Plan, states have been working to lower carbon pollution from power plants and replace it with clean energy.
Reports from Environment Maine showing Maine’s solar capacity per person growing 37 percent since last year. This number ranking the state at number 21 in the country.
“People are seeing that climate change is not an issue that’s facing us at some point down the road in the future, it’s impacting us now. And the only was that we will be able to avoid the worst impacts is by switching to clean and renewable energy,” said Laura Dorle, a campaign organizer at Environment Maine.
Despite the increase, Maine still falls behind it’s New England neighbors, New Hampshire and Vermont, ranking 3rd and 4th respectively. But Dorle believes there is an easy solution.
“I want to see the legislature really make this a priority in the coming years because we really don’t have much more time to waste, we are seeing solar businesses invest in our neighboring states rather than here in Maine which could help us create jobs and help us move toward cleaner renewable energy,” said Dorle.
A common misconception- that renewable energy is more expensive. While it initially may be costly, organizers say it will be cheaper in the long run.
“It’s like when you go out and buy a car, you expect to pay for it for five or six years and then you own it. It’s the same with power, pay for it over a period of time and then own it. Be in control of your own destiny,” said Chuck Piper of Seadog Solar.
And while Maine is moving up in the rankings of states that use eco-friendly power, there are some changes that you can make to help push that number even farther. Just look at what one Orono resident has done.
“It’s been just a pleasure. There haven’t been any challenges,” said Ronald Davis, a former Umaine professor.
Davis and his wife have made the change to eco-friendly power, with 95 percent of his home operation coming from solar energy- one change? An electric car.
“I haven’t had to put a drop of gasoline into it. It has no carburetor. It has no exhaust,” said Davis.
Davis also has heating panels and solar electric panels installed outside his home.