Closing the Solar Income Gap: Greater Access, Proven Policies, and Community Engagement

Continued and precipitous cost reduction combined with improved financing options and regulatory processes, the solar boom continues with a record 40GW of solar power added to the world’s grids in 2014 bringing the global cumulative capacity to over 178GW. The U.S. also celebrated a record year with the largest PV installation in a single year. However, the benefits of such solar momentum seem yet to spread across the spectrum of U.S. household incomes. More than 49 million households that earn less than $40,000 of income per year make up 40 percent of all U.S. households, but represents less than 5 percent of solar installations.

Efforts to close such solar income gap are already underway. On Tuesday, July 7th, 2015 the Obama administration announced an initiative to help low- and middle-income Americans gain access to solar energy, and “triple the capacity of solar and other renewable energy systems it installs in federally subsidized housing by 2020.” To contribute towards and accelerate the effort of bringing more solar energy to low-income communities, ICLEI Local Governments For Sustainability USA convenes a panel of experts and practitioners in this webinar to discuss and share existing low-income solar projects, policies, and best practices with the aim to encourage solar power growth in underserved communities who can benefit from solar energy the most yet have the least means to go solar without targeted policy and financing support.

Moderator:

Chad Tudenggongbu, Resources Efficiency & Renewable Energy Program Officer, ICLEI USA

Speakers:

Chris Jedd, LEED AP BD +C, Portfolio Energy Manager, Denver Housing Authority

Zach Franklin, Vice President of Development and Communications, Grid Alternatives

Danielle Baussan, Managing Director of Energy Policy, Center for American Progress

This hour-long free webinar session is brought to you as part of the SunShot Solar Outreach Partnership’s continued solar outreach effort. To learn more about solar outreach partnership (SolarOPs), please visit solaroutreach.org. SolarOPs also provides free technical resources and assistances. We invite you to direct your questions, requests, and comments to solar-usa@iclei.org.

To view the presentation slides, please visit HERE

Additional Resources:

Solar Power Purchase Agreement Toolkit (Click here or visit: bit.ly/1hxqQwF)

Case Study on Grand Valley Power’s Low-Income Community Solar Program (Click here or visit: bit.ly/1IKesjE)

Community Shared Solar Toolkit (Click here or visit: bit.ly/1IYxvpt)

Aggregate Net Metering: Opportunities for Local Governments Report (Click here or visit bit.ly/1Eneufg)