4 Appealing Reasons Why More Communities Go For Solar Energy Projects
Whether your community is considering starting a solar energy project or has already decided, there are several important reasons to go ahead. These reasons will help you understand why going forward with a project is essential.
Net Metering Reduces Utility Bills.
Increasing utility customers are turning to net metering to generate electricity on their properties. These customers benefit from the lower solar energy costs, which helps balance the cost of purchasing electricity from other sources. They also remain connected to the electrical grid, reducing the need for infrastructure and transmission upgrades. Net metering reduces utility bills by allowing customers to store extra electricity for use when it is most expensive. This extra power can be sold to the utility or used locally. For example, electricity generated at peak demand times can be used to heat water, chill water, or air conditioning later. In the winter, this extra power can save consumers money. There are two main types of net metering. Conventional net metering and aggregate net metering. In conventional net metering, consumers can receive credit for the electricity they produce but not for the amount they consume. The credit may be carried over from month to month.
An Opportunity To Institutionalize A Shared Vision Of A Solar-Powered Future.
Increasing clean, renewable energy availability is an important step toward achieving our climate goals. To reach this goal, we must accelerate the growth of distributed energy resources, such as community solar programs.
For instance, a community solar energy project allows customers to participate in solar projects within their local communities. These programs can also work for renters and condominium owners. Customers can also receive bill credits for their share of the energy produced. Community solar is a rapidly growing industry that has expanded in many states. Among the leading states, Colorado and Massachusetts have enacted supportive legislation. New York City has also developed a property tax credit for installing solar systems. Community solar projects include solar gardens and solar farms. These projects require participants to buy kilowatt-hour blocks of renewable energy generation. When they contribute, they help support a shared renewable farm owned by a nonprofit organization.
The Department of Energy has launched new initiatives to improve the effectiveness of community solar programs. One of the new initiatives is the Solar Ready Community Recognition Program. This program aims to make solar panel installation easier and to reduce solar energy costs. The program is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative and was developed as part of the Rooftop Solar Challenge II.
The Department of Energy (DOE) will also increase the size of its community solar programs and develop new avenues to increase awareness of solar community projects. It will also improve the technical barriers to interconnection, build a skilled local workforce and improve the cost of interconnection.
Purchase Solar Energy Collectively.
Purchasing solar energy through a bulk purchasing program can lower the cost of solar systems. Typically, a group of people or organizations buy solar panels together and install them themselves. Then, each group member pays a dollar amount per kilowatt hour (kWh) to the third party for the electricity the system produces each month. There are several bulk purchasing programs, and you can find out more about them online. One option is the Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA). This organization has four years of experience buying bulk solar panels in Iowa and Illinois. It has also launched Solar Power Hour events in Minnesota.
Another option is the Solar United Neighbors of Florida. The nonprofit organization is already working with a couple of co-ops in Florida. Its goal is to make going solar more affordable for businesses and residents. It will launch several projects around the state by October of next year. There are also third-party ownership programs. These programs offer solar to residential customers in specific neighborhoods. These programs are overseen by a volunteer steering committee. The cost savings for customers are based on the federal tax credit. PG&E Company offers its Green Saver program to businesses and homeowners. Customers receive up to 20% off their electric bill.
Corporate Solar Adoption Is Growing Rapidly.
Across the world, solar adoption is increasing rapidly. Solar power generates 3.6% of global electricity and is the third largest renewable electricity technology behind wind and hydropower. The technology is gaining market share in Asia, Africa, and the United States. The technology’s price has dropped dramatically, and corporate solar buyers are taking advantage of the opportunity. Solar power has become a big business in the United States, with 15 of the top 25 companies publicly committing to 100% renewable energy in the long run. In North Carolina, rooftop solar PV generates 3.9% of its electricity. Compared to a decade ago, solar systems are now much more affordable. The solar energy industry has grown rapidly due to the need for cleaner energy sources. Solar capacity is expected to exceed 86 gigawatts (GW) by 2020 and more than 1,000 GW by 2035. This will require an estimated 30 GW of solar per year to support zero-carbon grids by 2025. The industry is dominated by Chinese panel producers, who will be in a tough position if the central government cuts its subsidies. It will also take a lot of work to develop solar capacity quickly enough to meet the United States’ goal of a zero-carbon grid by 2050.