Increasing solar energy production can reduce public health harms caused by climate change and the combustion of fossil fuels, including increased incidence of asthma and cardiovascular disease and exposure to contaminants in drinking water leaching from coal ash storage facilities. Solar power can also increase community resilience to natural disasters and other energy interruptions. These health hazards disproportionately impact low-income communities and communities of color that have higher rates of exposure to pollution, are more affected by climate change, and pay a higher portion of income to meet energy needs. Historically higher income single family homes have dominated the solar market.
This Quick Reference resource provides an overview of the legal strategies that have been implemented by communities to promote renewable energy and equitable public health outcomes.