An Activist Group is Spreading Misinformation About Solar Energy in America

Ouissal Harize Ouissal Harize
21st February 2023
An Activist Group is Spreading Misinformation About Solar Energy in America
NPR has investigated the group for months (Getty)

A group of activists, Citizens for Responsible Solar, is spreading misinformation to stop solar projects in rural America. 

This type of misinformation is not new and has been found in campaigns against the wind industry, too. 

NPR has investigated the group for months and published an article exposing their misinformation campaigns.  

According to NPR, founder of Citizens for Responsible Solar, Susan Ralston, is a political operative who worked in the White House under President George W. Bush and has deep ties to power players in conservative politics.

The Misinformation Spread by Citizens for Responsible Solar

According to NPRC, citizens for Responsible Solar is spreading misinformation purporting that solar requires too much land for "unreliable energy." They claim that large solar projects in rural areas wreck the land and contribute to climate change, despite evidence to the contrary. They also ignore data that shows power grids can run dependably on lots of renewables. 

Although people often have valid concerns about solar development, misinformation spread by groups like Citizens for Responsible Solar is dangerously hindering the development of solar energy projects by deceiving local landlords. 

How is Misinformation Affecting Rural Communities?

The misinformation being spread by Citizens for Responsible Solar is creating uncertainty and fear in rural communities that are considering solar projects. In some cases, these communities are missing out on the many advantages of solar energy, including cleaner air, lower energy bills, and new job opportunities. 

Misinformation Can Affect Policymaking 

NPR also reported that the prevalence of misinformation is increasing pressure on local officials charged with approving renewable energy projects. Many are wary of proposed development because of the political backlash it can bring. 

This type of misinformation is very difficult to dispel, and politicians are afraid of getting engaged with it. However, the truth is that renewable energy is essential for our planet's survival and can also benefit local communities. 

The Advantages of Solar Energy

Solar energy has many advantages including:

  1. Lower energy bills: Solar energy can help reduce energy bills. With solar panels, households can generate their electricity, and any excess energy can also be sold.
  2. Cleaner air: Solar energy helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which cause air pollution and contribute to climate change. By using solar energy, communities can reduce their carbon footprint and improve the air quality.
  3. New job opportunities: Solar energy is a growing industry and can create new job opportunities and markets.

Misbar has extensively looked at misinformation related to climate change and debunked several false and misleading claims. 

Misbar’s team found that despite the overwhelming scientific data, a persistent fake claim purports that climate change is a hoax. It is therefore pressingly necessary for fact-checkers to tenaciously focus on issues of climate change to dispel the myths and misinformation surrounding it. 

Misbar’s Sources:


Yale Climate Connections

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