Opinion

The Interchange Recharged podcast: community solar

A solution to consumers who are unable to host solar

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75% of American households do not have access to solar power. The problem is two-fold; either consumers do not own their own home, or their roofs are unable to host a solar system. So, what’s the solution? It’s community solar. The Community Solar Industry has committed to develop 20 GW of Capacity by 2025 in alignment with the U.S. Department of Energy’s goals. Making the announcement at the DOE’s National Community Solar Partnership Summit, the commitment aligns with DOE’s goal to enable enough community solar to power 5 million American homes by 2025, saving consumers $1 billion.

In today's episode, David is joined by 3 bright lights in the community solar sector. Jeff Cramer is the CEO of the CCSA - Coalition for Community Solar Access. The CCSA is a national coalition of businesses and non-profits, looking to increase access to solar for all American households. Kacie Peters also joins us – she’s the Director of Industry Relationships at Pivot Energy, a solar provider that develops, builds and manages solar projects. We’ve also got Rachel Goldstein, solar research analyst at Wood Mackenzie, to offer insight into the Wood Mac Community Solar Outlook Report and examine the policies and market drivers that are fueling solar growth. There are 4 GW of community solar installed across the country as of December 2021, and 4.5 more GW in the pipeline in the next five years, according to the latest CSO Report - an increase in 9% over last year’s projections.

Community solar is a project that involves households, businesses, and community organisations that agree to receive energy from an off-campus solar farm. This “subscription service” allows consumers to have more control over where their energy comes from and how it's produced.

David doesn't hold back on today's guests. He leads discussion regarding growth, finance, and policy reform. What will community solar look like in 10 years? What's the expected output of solar energy in the next decade? What federal and local investment is needed to reach Bidens aggressive emission goals? What political reform helps pave the road to more access to community solar? How expensive is community solar for a normal American family?

If you are interested in purchasing solar energy without the heavy lifting, don’t have access to solar infrastructure or simply don’t want to dive into the investment just yet, then this episode is for you.

The Interchange is brought to you by the Yale Clean Energy Conference: Renewables Integration & Grid Modernization for a Clean Energy Future, happening April 1 – April 2, 2022. Network with leading clean energy experts while utilizing and deepening your knowledge of clean energy justice, finance, technology, policy, and careers. Learn more and register for this virtual event before April 1.

View the landing page to hear all episodes of The Interchange Recharged.