Nonprofit Spotlight: Native Renewables

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In September 2021, PennyLoafer donors collectively gave to Native Renewables!

The Rundown

  • Years founded: 2016

  • Leadership: Executive Director, Suzanne Singer, is a member of the Navajo (Dine) tribe and has a PhD in Mechanical Engineering. She’s won the C3E Award for “outstanding leadership and accomplishments in clean energy.”

  • Issue they address: energy access challenges for the 15,000 families on the Navajo Nation who live without electricity.

  • What they do: empower Native American families on the Navajo Nation and Hopi reservation to achieve energy independence by growing renewable energy capacity and affordable access to off-grid power.

  • How they do it:

    • Use off-grid solar installations to provide power to families on the Navajo and Hopi Nations;

    • Train a local workforce to install and maintain off-grid photovoltaic solar systems;

    • Educate the broader Native community about solar energy and the benefits and limitations of off-grid power.

Why they were chosen

Native Renewables is catalysing clean energy for Native American families and communities, and building the technical capacity of the local workforce. They have strong leadership, focus on low-cost solutions and are in the process of scaling the operation.

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☀️ The U.S. Department of Energy recently outlined solar’s significant role in decarbonizing the nation’s power grid. Solar energy currently powers 3% of the US electric grid, but the Biden administration wants it to power nearly half by 2050. Ambitiously sunny, I like it.

  • The cost of solar panels has significantly dropped in recent years, making it the cheapest (and fastest growing) option in many parts of the country
  • The study showed solar could produce enough electricity to power all the homes in the U.S. by 2035 – while creating 1.5 million jobs.
  • To make it happen, we’d need smart policies, better incentives and a massive deployment of solar infrastructure (read: double each of the next four years, and again by 2030).

🔥 Yes, it was a hotter-than-usual summer. 2021 broke (just barely) the famous Dust Bowl record from 1936 for hottest U.S. summer on record.

😑 The voices of the next generation have spoken, and 65% of young people (age 16-25) feel their government is failing them on climate change.

If you enjoyed this and want to get involved, you can support the Climate Change cause on PennyLoafer, starting with as little as $5/month. Each month, you’ll support and learn about a different nonprofit fighting the climate crisis.