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Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Hampton, Va. Photo: John Grace via The Washington Post
The Washington Post reported yesterday that Catholic Energies, a nonprofit organization that helps churches across the country switch to solar energy, is helping the Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington to install 5,000 solar panels, the largest ground array in the nation’s capital, on a 5-acre plot owned by the Archdiocese that will provide Catholic Charities enough energy credits to offset the electricity costs of 12 of its properties across the District. This is the second energy-saving project for Catholic Energies which just finished an installation of 440 solar panels on the roof of a Virginia church last month. And the DC solar panels will sit atop a “pollinator meadow” of 650,000 nectar-bearing, flowering plants including black-eyed Susans, orange coneflowers and milkweed that are intended to invigorate local bee and butterfly populations.
Why This Matters: This just goes to show that when the leader at the very top of an organization, such as a Pope or a President, provides leadership and moral direction, people will make it happen. Pope Francis has often spoken out and convened leaders from around the globe urging them to address climate change. He said in his 2015 Encyclical, “What kind of world do we want to leave to those who come after us, to children who are now growing up?” And he pressed for an “ecological conversion” by Catholics, imploring them to take care of the planet — to embrace things like recycling, tree planting and carpooling. Amen to that. Hopefully, more faith-based organizations will do the same.
It is working in other areas too — Catholic Energies told The Post that it has “about 25 projects in the pipeline, in eight states, representing between $12 million and $15 million in construction.”
Dan Misleh, the founder and executive director of Catholic Climate Covenant, said that there are other dioceses around the country, including in Atlanta and San Diego, that are working to switch their parishes and schools to solar power, however, only Catholic Energies is helping Catholic institutions to do so free of charge.
The Catholic Energies Funding Model
First, Catholic Energies conducts a free feasibility study and comes up with a possible design with the goal of creating at least 10 percent savings for Catholic institutions.
Then Catholic Energies locates a third-party investor, next letting the institution choose among several solar contractors, and finally, construction begins.
by Ashira Morris, ODP Contributing Writer The pandemic has created massive supply chain problems across industries, including for the growing wind energy business. According to reporting by the New York Times, the American Wind Energy Association estimates that the pandemic could threaten a total of $35 billion in investment and about 35,000 jobs this year. […]
Why This Matters: The investments in electric vehicles are clearly market-driven, but it cannot hurt to have Presidential frontrunner Joe Biden on the campaign trail talking about using the federal purchasing power to transition the federal fleet to electric vehicles.
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