SALT LAKE CITY — The solar project coordinator for Utah's leading clean energy advocacy organization was one of 10 people across the country tapped by the White House as a "champion of change."
Kate Bowman from Utah Clean Energy was honored Thursday for her efforts to promote the expansion of solar energy across all sectors: commercial, industrial and residential.
Through her work with Utah Clean Energy, Bowman leads community solar initiatives that help to trump both financial and organizational hurdles to solar installation. According to clean energy, efforts like these have led to a surge in local solar markets, including in Summit County, where a community solar project resulted in five times more residential solar than what was installed the previous year.
The White House Solar Summit honoring Bowman and nine others is a continuation of President Barack Obama's Climate Action Plan announced in June 2013. The goal is to double solar, wind and geothermal electricity generation by 2020.
According to figures released in conjunction with the summit, 2014 was a record-breaking year for new solar installations. Overall, the amount of solar has increased nearly 11-fold, from 1.2 gigawatts in 2008 to an estimated 13 gigawatts, enough to power more than 2.2 million American homes.
“I am delighted that the White House is taking time to recognize individuals and organizations that are creating solutions to our energy challenges," Bowman said. "By making solar more affordable and simple for everyday Utahns, we are empowering our communities to make smart, sustainable energy choices."
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