Tuesday, February 28, 2006

House too shaded? Apartment dweller? Go "Community Solar"!

Picture credit: www.caritassanmiguel.org.ar/images/Compartir.jpg

Good day solarDwellers:

Today I turn from the idea of yesterday's post of larger investors putting money together to install and maintain solar for businesses that don't want to pay the up-front cost of solar, to a similar and I would say "more awesome" idea going on in Ashland, Oregon (link to newspaper article). But this idea is to let the little guy or gal, small business, homeowner or even apartment dweller, participate in a "local community" solar market without having to invest in their OWN solar panels.

So the idea these enlightened local leaders in Ashland is as follows: let's generate some local, distributed solar power that our neighbors can buy into. The city or county installs panels, let's say, on a large city building roof. To help pay for it, local residents can buy a "share" of that large solar pv installation, whatever share they can afford. From the article:
"Residents could invest in those panels, with their electric bills credited proportionately for the amount of energy their share of the panels generated."

The city would use federal clean energy bonds, "bonds provided under the 2005 Energy Policy Act. The act allocates up to $500 million in Clean Renewable Energy Bonds for government bodies." The bonds would be paid for by the money those community residents put up to buy "shares" of the community solar installation.

Future solarDwellers, this just looks like a creative way to get together locally and use that federal bond help to supply ourselves with more solar energy, to do SOMETHING against the federal energy plan, which is to simply depend "less" on foreign oil and drill more on U.S. soil.

Maybe our best solution these days is to go with a "local", green energy policy.

--your apartment dwelling future solarDweller
Categories: , , ,

No comments: