Carol Levin

Co-founder, with husband Richard Gottlieb, of Sunnyside Solar, Inc.

Participant in Sunnyside Solar Store, LLC

Longtime solar energy activist

In the past five years, Vermont has come a long way toward meeting its energy goals for a more sustainable future with renewable energy. Vermont’s goal of 90% renewable energy for the state’s needs by 2050 is realistic and obtainable, one we are well on the way to reaching.

If you look at the record for many of the other states in the U.S., it is very apparent we, as a country, have a long way to go, especially in meeting energy needs within the large population centers.

At least in the U.S., barriers include ready access to and learned entitlement to energy resources, particularly fostered by fossil fuel lobbies, along with high federal subsidies for fossil fuel production and conversion, which artificially reduce their apparent cost to the public.

Many European countries are much further ahead in decommissioning nuclear plants and reducing the import and use of oil and coal and other fossil fuels. Coupled with conservation, renewable energy is seen as a real alternative to meeting their energy needs. Many of these countries have public subsidies for solar, wind, hydro, geothermal, and energy conservation and no subsidies for nuclear, coal, oil, and liquefied gas.

Public education, cancelling all federal fossil fuel subsidies, conservation, and continued improvement in the efficiencies of renewable energy conversion are perhaps the greatest needs to meet the environmental and energy challenges that we are facing today.

Carol Levin at home in Guilford, VT. Her home has solar domestic hot water as well as a 1KW grid-tied photovoltaic system. Photo by Dorothy Weicker.

Carol Levin at home in Guilford, VT. Her home has solar domestic hot water as well as a 1KW grid-tied photovoltaic system. Photo by Dorothy Weicker.