Solar a Green Economic Game Changer by Denise Abdul-Rahman



Indiana has an estimated 600 early adopters of rooftop solar.  Rooftop solar and community solar gardens are beneficial to all, but more specifically to low-income, people of color that are primarily disproportionately impacted by environmentally related decisions.  There appears to be no plans for rooftop solar within 1quality of life plans we researched. Environmental opportunities, projects, resources should benefit those most disproportionately impacted.  There are vast benefits to committing to green economics within Hub Zones of Indianapolis and throughout Indiana. 

Game Changers:

Education:  

1. Create solar installation training opportunities benefiting those within the community
2. Ivy Tech does not have a solar installer program within Indianapolis
3. Solar and basic environmental climate justice education within public schools
4. IPS nor FWCS have solar, 2up to 60% of the 125,000 K-12 schools can “go solar” cost effectively.  There are only 12 schools in Indiana with solar. The benefits are economical, educational, healthier and responsible
5. Local nonprofits should be allotted resources to offer programming within thier communities, providing education and jobs.  (in addition, to commitments to entreprenuers, commitments to nonprofits create healthy communities, learning and jobs)

 

Health:

1. Marion county has high ozone levels
2. 3Marion county Head Start children and asthma Prevalence for (2011)
• Early Head Start ages (2-3) 10.3% 
• Head Start  age( 3-5) 13%
• An estimated 150,780  Indiana school aged children (9.8%) currently have asthma (2009)
• Zip codes 46218, 46226, 46250, 46235 and 46229 are 2 to 3 times the county rate

 

3. Black children under the age of 18 visit the ER more frequently than white children in the same age group, the ER rate is 3 times higher
4. Clean energy commitment is a high value to those impacted

 

Energy Poverty:  According to Home Energy Affordability In Indiana ‘Energy efficiency is a necessary, but not sufficient, response to the problem of unaffordable home energy.  Low income efficiency initiatives are inadequately funded to comprehensively address unaffordability.’

 

Crime:   

1. Third most violent city in the nation according to City Data Crime Indianapolis in the Balance
2. Indianapolis, IN unemployment rate February 2015 was 6.4%, Black unemployment is 12.8 as of 2014 according to Bureau of Labor Statistics 

 

Politics:    Create an environmental climate justice committee and add to the Office of Sustainability a division of Environmental Climate Justice Outreach. 

 

Green Economics Benefits :  

We recommend policy creation for roof top solar and community solar garden development.  We recommend solar primarily, because it creates a local hire component for solar installation. It also directly positively impacts the  energy cost of the homeowner or tenant.  In fact, net metering can empower the distributed generator, because they can earn a credit and net zero their energy bill.   We recommend near future policies that start preparing builders, realtor and bankers to begin incorporating solar, as a Socially Corporate Responsible proactive step, toward community reinvestment.  This proactivity will prevent the inevitable…. a  Just Energy gap.  All of the above game changers will have a positive impact on our Indianapolis community.


1MidTown Indy Great Places 2020 http://midtownindy.org/GreatPlaces2020.php

National Solar Schools Census, 2015, http://www.thesolarfoundation.org/solar-schools/brighter-future/

3 Catching your breath:  Asthma in Marion County, December 2011, http://www.mchd.com/pdf/MCPHDasthma_report2011.pdf

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Report created by Indiana Green Outreach, May 2015

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