It can cost between $10,000 to $25,000 to install a solar panel system on a home. And then there are the barriers beyond cost, like being a renter or having a roof that’s too small or shady for panels. These factors mean solar isn’t available to about half of all Americans, according to the Department of Energy. New York is among the top dozen solar-producing states in the U.S., but in 2014, less than 4 percent of solar installations benefited New York households with incomes below $40,000.
That could change if the community solar model catches on. Not only does community solar make renewable energy accessible to more people; proponents say that it has the potential to alleviate energy insecurity. Each month, one in three Americans struggles with choosing between paying their utility bill or for other basic necessities. With the right incentives, community solar can lower utility bills and give communities control over how they produce and consume energy.
by ChrisCook Sat Aug 24th, 2013 at 08:02:56 AM EST
If you're as fascinated by utilities as we are, you'll want to follow these links to more reports and articles covering the spread of distributed energy and utilities' efforts to adapt.
David Crane of NRG, a supporter of distributed energy, thinks wind and solar will part ways because wind needs transmission and distributed solar doesn't.
In the energy world, centralized technologies and institutions are giving way to dispersed, networked, small-scale solutions. It's exciting.
The big, slow-moving dinosaurs of the energy world face increasing competition from a swarm of smaller, fast-moving mammals. Energy companies will update their strategies for a changing world, or they will perish.
Distributed energy sounds boring, but it's a crucial part of a future that makes sense. A new company has found a way to help streamline it.
Distributed renewable energy comes in small bites, but it makes mouthfuls - gigawatts - of renewable energy capacity. Americans tend think big, but it is countries that built small that