SolarCity targets public support with decentralised solar ad campaign

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on email
Each ad deals with a different fossil fuel; coal (pictured), natural gas and oil. Image: SolarCity ad screengrab, cropped by Andy Colthorpe.

SolarCity has produced commercials that “reframe” the debate between fossil fuels and renewables in “deliberately practical terms”, comparing the complexity of generating and delivering power from fossil fuel plants against the immediacy of rooftop PV.

The company circulated links to the three short stop-motion animated videos, each of which shows how a different fossil fuel is formed, excavated, burned to release energy and eventually transmitted and distributed into ordinary households.

The light-hearted videos feature a rapid-fire voiceover taking the viewer from the fossil-era to the present day, via clanking machinery and black smoke. After each fast-paced explanation, for coal, gas and oil, each commercial finishes with sunlight dawning on some residential PV installations and the simple message that “this is how solar gets to you”.

SolarCity’s "How oil power gets to you" commercial:

SolarCity said the films show “the absurdity of the coal, gas, and oil processes, and conversely, show the simplicity of solar”. The company said the videos, created with agency Arnold Worldwide, “reframe this debate [between fossil fuels and solar power] in deliberately practical terms”.

The company is currently among those fighting rule changes over net metering in the US state of Nevada which will mean lower payments for power generated and PV system users and an increase in flat monthly fees paid to utility company NV Energy. SolarCity has already announced it will close down its operations there, leading to the loss of more than 500 jobs. A petition against the measures has been lodged with the Nevada secretary of state.

Still image from

Read Next

January 26, 2022
Proposed changes to California’s net metering (NEM) incentive programme will severely reduce residential PV’s value proposition in the state, cutting its solar market in half by 2024, Wood Mackenzie has warned.
January 24, 2022
The year has gotten off to a frenetic start, with plenty of news from the global solar and energy storage sectors to digest on the January 2022 episode of the Solar Media Podcast.
January 20, 2022
Mississippi authorities have expanded the state’s net metering programme to improve total compensation rates for solar customers and prioritise the adoption of distributed PV for low- to moderate-income (LMI) households.
January 13, 2022
Proposed net metering (NEM) rules in California that would add a US$8/kW per month grid access fee for residential solar systems have been described as “regressive and out of touch with reality” by a NEM policy expert.
PV Tech Premium
January 11, 2022
PV Tech Premium speaks with analysts and experts on the Brazilian solar market to discuss the country's long-awaited new net metering laws
January 11, 2022
California governor Gavin Newsom said there is “more work to be done” on the state’s net metering laws and that “changes need to be made” to proposals that have been proven highly contentious in the state.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
February 23, 2022
London, UK
Solar Media Events
March 8, 2022
London, UK
Solar Media Events
March 23, 2022
Austin, Texas, USA
Solar Media Events
March 29, 2022
Lisbon, Portugal
Solar Media Events
April 25, 2022
Berlin, Germany