25% by 2025 – Societal Benefits
Meeting Vermont’s energy and climate goals will go far beyond increasing renewable energy and reducing our climate pollution. It will mean more affordable energy that is stably priced, more jobs in the growing clean energy sector, and more efficient homes and businesses. But it will also have numerous other societal benefits.
HEALTH AND HEALTH COSTS
- AIR QUALITY: Diesel fumes and other fossil fuel related pollutants have a negative impact on the health of Vermonters, estimated at over $29 million in health costs per year.26 Electric transportation and
alternative modes of transportation are ways to alleviate this.
SUPPORTING VERMONT’S WORKING LANDSCAPE
- FORESTS: Accelerating the adoption of Advanced Wood Heat helps keep forests as forests by providing new markets for low-grade wood, enabling sustainable forest management; helps strengthen Vermont’s
economy and communities with forest sector jobs; and keeps money re-circulating in-state.
- AGRICULTURE: VT solar and methane digester projects help improve farm viability by diversifying farm revenue streams. Some farms are piloting arrays that allow for grazing and/or tilling under and
between them, or that take advantage of barn roof space.
POLLINATORS AND CLEAN WATER
EAN members are leading the way in finding win-wins-wins for farmers, pollinators, and clean water through collaborative approaches across sectors.
POLLINATORS: VT solar projects are helping reverse the decline of pollinating bee and bird species by using land under and around their arrays for pollinator-friendly plantings. EAN convened and developed a statewide partnership across multiple sectors to promote this win-win-win strategy. For more information on how to participate, visit: uvm.edu/extension/agriculture/pollinator-friendly-solar
CLEAN WATER: VT solar projects could help improve water quality by allowing farmers to earn revenue on land that needs to be taken out of crop production to help reduce the phosphorus in our waterways. EAN members are exploring ways to make this win-win-win strategy work for all interested parties.