What is Solar Works?
Solar Works is an initiative of Gasp, a health advocacy organization working to activate Alabama for clean air. The purpose of the project is to raise awareness of the benefits of solar energy in Alabama. Harnessing the power of the sun will improve our health, economy and environment.
Solar energy is the conversion of the sun’s radiation into sources of power, like electricity. A location’s solar radition depends on numerous factors: geographic location, time of year, landscape, and weather. Alabama receives sufficient radiation to produce ample solar energy.
The solar power density incident on a surface of stated area and orientation, usually expressed as Watt-hours per square meter or Btus per square foot.
The direct, diffuse, and reflected solar radiation that strikes a surface. Usually expressed in kilowatts per square meter. Irradiance multiplied by time equals insolation.
Fixed charges for rooftop solar users are bad public policy, discourage investment in clean energy, and hurt Alabama’s solar energy industry. This report, which is available as a web page and a PDF, will help you have conversations with elected officials, influencers, and other decision makers about clean energy policy in Alabama.
Alabama’s Solar Potential
The average solar insolation is 4.23 hours per day. The highest irradiance is in July, at 5.70. The lowest is in January, at 2.32.
Birmingham’s highest monthly irradiance is 5.75 (in July). The lowest is in January, at 2.31.
How do we compare?
Germany is the #1 solar energy producer in the world. Muenchen has a July irradiance of 5.29 and a January irradiance of 1.12.
Watch & Learn
Voices for Clean Air: Dr. James McClintock
Dr. McClintock is an endowed university professor at UAB. He studies and teaches Polar and Marine Biology, which has taken him to Antarctica many times where he has observed the effects of climate change firsthand. He believes tackling air pollution is part of tacking climate warming. Watch more videos like this at voicesforcleanair.com.
Voices for Clean Air: Bart Slawson
Bart is an Alabama environmental and business attorney. He helped start the Solar Test House with Alabama Environmental Council. He also installed solar in his home and is an advocate for clean, renewable energy because of the economic savings and benefits to the air and health. Watch more videos at voicesforcleanair.com.
SELC Stories of Solar: Chuck Jay
Chuck spent years working in Alabama coal mines, but then he embarked on a new journey. He became a solar installer. This Southern Environmental Law Center video is the story of Chuck’s transition into his new career path.