On the cusp of a boom, “soft costs” pose a challenge for solar

By Umair Irfan, E&E Reporter

UAirfanThe technology behind solar power continues to ramp up in performance and drop in price. As it does so, the soft costs — permitting, financing, installation — are making up a bigger portion of the price tag for new projects . . . As a result, the biggest advances in the solar sector over the next years may not come from more efficient photovoltaics, but rather from simpler permitting rules and better business models for renewable energy.

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Local Nebraska governments interested in reducing the soft costs of installing solar in your communities can now apply to the new Solar Powering America by Recognizing Communities (SPARC) program.Solar Powering America By Recognizing Communities

The U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative selected The Solar Foundation to lead a $10.3 million solar technical assistance effort for local governments, through the Department’s Solar Powering America by Recognizing Communities (SPARC) Program. The combined technical assistance and designation program efforts seek to reduce solar energy’s soft costs in 300 communities over the next 3 years.

“Local governments are uniquely positioned to take action to make solar more affordable in their jurisdictions and to unlock the economic development benefits associated with increased solar deployment. We look forward to assisting local governments in tackling soft cost barriers and growing their solar footprint in order to further benefit their constituents.”
– Andrea Luecke, President and Executive Director of The Solar Foundation

Press Release: http://www.thesolarfoundation.org/press-release-sparc-tap-award/

Communities that take steps that signal they are “open for business” for solar may receive technical assistance and national recognition through this new U.S. Department of Energy-supported program and designation as a “solar ready community.” The program will recognize communities that are taking steps to reduce barriers to solar adoption and foster the growth of mature solar markets.

Read more here: http://www.gosparc.org/new-blog/?mc_cid=1322d6ff99&mc_eid=817c56e651

Apply for the SPARC “Early Adopters” Campaign here: www.gosparc.org/take-action-1

Contact Philip Haddix, Program Director at The Solar Foundation Email: phaddix@solarfound.org / Telephone: 202-469-3743  

Please share this information with government leaders in your community and encourage them to apply to the “Early Adopters” Campaign.