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Most people might not think of Arkansas as a leader regarding renewable energy, but perhaps they should. The Southern state is quietly making impressive strides in the solar industry, thanks to innovative technology and government incentives. Not only that, but this solar boom is also creating jobs and driving community involvement.
From technology to government policies to community engagement, let’s take a closer look at how Arkansas is breaking the mold and leading the way in solar energy solutions.
Innovative technology has played a significant role in driving Arkansas’ solar energy growth. For example, the Arkansas Energy Office’s Renewable Energy Program grants renewable energy projects, including solar, to further encourage development. In addition, the Arkansas Energy Performance Contracting (AEPC) is a tool to help companies pay for energy efficiency upgrades like lighting, chillers and water systems.
The Arkansas Clean Cities Coalition comprises a voluntary group of local and state government agencies, private companies and nonprofit organizations committed to energy conservation. These public-private partnerships focus on “enhancing energy security, promoting energy independence and advancing environmental quality in Arkansas.”
These incentives have spurred a rapid increase in solar installations across the state, with a current solar installation capacity of over 600 megawatts. As the demand for renewable energy rises, Arkansas is poised to become a significant player in the industry.
Community involvement has played a crucial role in adopting solar power in Arkansas and creating a culture of sustainability. From grassroots campaigns to educate homeowners on the benefits of solar energy to community-based solar projects, there has been a collective effort to increase the use of renewable energy sources in the state. As more people become aware of the benefits of renewable energy, they are taking steps to reduce their carbon footprint and promote a cleaner environment.
Local organizations have taken the lead in promoting solar power. For example, the Arkansas Advanced Energy Association works to promote and expand advanced energy technologies, including solar power, throughout the state. In addition, the organization provides policy advocacy, workforce development and education to accelerate the adoption of clean energy.
Looking forward, the future of solar power in Arkansas is bright. The state has set ambitious renewable energy goals, which include generating 50% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030. With the support of the community and the government, Arkansas is well-positioned to lead the way in solar energy and create a more sustainable future for generations to come.
Images used with permission from New Farm Solar.
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