Solar energy has been growing to new heights over the last decade. Homeowners are enjoying the benefits of capturing their own power, and many who have access to net metering can even earn credit for excess generation. One of the major difficulties of expanding this technology is that many Americans, especially those living in apartments or densely populated cities, simply don’t have anywhere to place solar panels. Community solar projects may be the solution to the solar problem.
Community solar programs offer residents the ability to buy into a multi-family or community based solar project. These may be located atop apartment buildings, condo complexes, or even offsite where land may be cheaper. As technology improves, and the costs of solar decrease, more and more Americans are looking for a way to source clean, green energy—so much so that solar capacity and generation is expected to double by 2020.
With such a growing appetite for new solar projects, mayors and municipal leaders are looking for ways to facilitate this growth. One policy gaining traction is virtual net metering, which allows those buying into community solar the same net metering benefits as those with rooftop solar.
City leaders can help encourage and educate residents in their community about the benefits and importance of transitioning away from fossil fuels to solar. These newly empowered communities will enjoy the health benefits, the better air and water quality, and decreased utility bills that come with solar. Find out more about what you can do by joining Path to Positive Communities today!
Right now, there’s an odd thing about solar in the United States (and elsewhere). It’s either really big — at the scale of massive solar farms with the capacity to generate tens or hundreds of millions of watts of electricity — or pretty small: on your rooftop, with maybe as little as 5 kilowatts, or thousand watts, of capacity.
Solar has been growing extremely fast in these existing markets. But more and more, analysts say, there’s a middle-range market whose large potential is just becoming clear. It’s bigger than individual rooftop installations but smaller than vast solar farms. And it’s for a much broader and diverse range of people than fairly wealthy, suburban homeowners.
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