We take it for granted that you can install solar on your home or business anytime, just as you can make any other energy saving improvement. Unfortunately, the reality is there are a host of restrictions on solar and battery storage. Many of these restrictions are due to arbitrary regulations (solar panels cannot be visible from the street), as well as rules promulgated by utilities to maximize their profits. Riddle me this, Solarman: why does your local utility encourage you to install an 8 kw EV charger, but makes it extremely complicated (sometimes impossible) to install a 2 kw rooftop solar system?

Incumbent industries have economic power behind them. Utilities spend hundreds of millions of dollars to suppress competition from rooftop solar, compared to the million or so dollars spent by most state solar industries. But polls show that 95% of the population favors solar. Although the solar industry is at a financial disadvantage, there are tens of millions of people in the U.S. that benefit – either directly or indirectly – from the solar industry. The challenge is organizing this grass roots army to advocate for cleaner and and more affordable energy sources.

The Solar Rights Alliance was founded to empower these millions of solar citizens. Its mantra is everyone should have the right to generate his or her own power directly from the sun — and that no monopoly or special interest should try to block or own the sun.

Our special guest on this week’s Energy Show is Dave Rosenfeld, Executive Director of the Solar Rights Alliance. He’s spent his career building movements and institutions that expand freedom, liberty and justice including work with the National Public Radio, The Public Interest Research Group, and the Public Interest Network. Grass roots advocacy has been effective in making many big changes in our democracy, and Dave is working hard to deploy this growing army of solar enthusiasts to make solar cost effective and available to everyone.