While the shutdowns related to COVID-19 have had catastrophic effects on countries around the world, scientists have found the effects on the environment to be quite the opposite. As factories were forced to shut down and travel limited for essential purposes, air pollution levels have dropped to levels not seen in at least 70 years, as reported by The Wall Street Journal.
The renewable energy sector is crucial to the healthy growth of the United States, and according to the United Nations, we have the opportunity to “build back better” as we begin to reshape our societies post COVID-19.
Monarch Private Capital and its portfolio company, Alchemy Renewable Energy, have been working to bring renewable energy to communities throughout the U.S. for 12 years. Investing in renewables may be more important than ever, and we stay committed to our goal of providing clean energy for all.
A Look at Firwood Solar Farm
Firwood Solar Farm, a tax equity investment of Monarch Private Capital, is a 15.19 MW solar farm that serves Clackamas County, Oregon and surrounding communities. This solar farm has a positive impact on the environment by:
Reducing approximately 13,600 MT of CO2e emissions in the first twelve months of operations (the equivalent to removing nearly 3,000 passenger cars from the road for a year),
Over the first six years of operations, an estimated 80,500 MT CO2e of emissions would be avoided (the equivalent to reducing gasoline consumption by over 9 million gallons), and
During the first 35 years of operations, roughly 437,050 MT CO2e would be reduced in and around these communities (the equivalent of about 74,000 homes’ electricity use for one year).
Benefits of Renewable Energy
It provides a virtually endless source of energy.
It improves your health. Not only is renewable energy clean, but it prevents us from polluting the elements that could otherwise be used as our source of energy. The use of gas and coal contributes both directly and indirectly to breathing problems, heart disease, cancers, and many other debilitating and life-threatening conditions.
It’s affordable. The assumption that coal, gas, and fuel are the only affordable option is false; the use of renewable energy only requires that we pay for the initial setup. The sun, wind, and other natural sources are absolutely free, so in the end, you will be saving thousands of dollars immediately after the initial investment of installation.
It creates jobs. It is estimated that the use of renewable energy will employ about 24 million people worldwide, particularly from the solar industry and wind industry. Manufacturing labor, construction and turbine installation, logistics, finances, transportation needs, and legal consultation jobs are just a few of the jobs created through renewable energy production.
We can make it at home. At this time, our main source of energy comes from fossil fuels, 60 percent of which are imported, and those imports are extremely expensive to begin with. The use of renewable energy will save money from importing fossil fuels and eliminate our need for foreign assistance.
According to a 2018 article on OVO Energy, renewable energy creates five times more jobs than fossil fuels, and if taken full advantage of, sunlight beamed on the earth for 1 hour could meet the world’s energy demands for an entire year! As our country works to rebuild from this crisis, MPC and ARE will continue to finance and facilitate the development of solar energy projects like Firwood Solar Farm across the U.S.