Center for American Progress

: Expanding Access to Solar Energy for All American Households
Past Event

Expanding Access to Solar Energy for All American Households

In recent years, electricity generation from renewable resources has surged. Rooftop solar, in particular, is experiencing exponential growth. And it is not just wealthy households that are reaping the benefits of rooftop solar. Research shows that increasing numbers of middle-class households are adopting solar energy, while several states have implemented policies to ensure that low-income communities have access to solar power.

Faced with this competition, some electric utilities and fossil-fuel interests are mounting state-based campaigns to slow or stop the development of renewable energy. These groups argue that solar energy only benefits wealthier Americans at the expense of the poor—a claim that runs counter to the facts. All Americans should be able to choose cleaner energy alternatives, both to protect their interests as consumers and to respond to the threat of climate change.

This event will explore state and federal policy options to ensure equitable access to renewable energy, including initiatives the California State Legislature is pursuing that could serve as a national model.


Neera Tanden, President, Center for American Progress

Featured speaker:
Senator Kevin de León (D) , President pro Tempore, California State Senate

Featured panelists:
Jacqueline Patterson, Director of the Environmental and Climate Justice Program, NAACP
Emily Kofsky, Director of Product Management, SolarCity
Nicole Steele, Executive Director, GRID Alternatives Mid-Atlantic

Moderated by:
Greg Dotson, Vice President for Energy Policy, Center for American Progress