14 Jun '12, 12pm

Crowdsourced solar gets a nod – and a check – from the Department of Energy

Crowdsourced solar gets a nod – and a check – from the Department of Energy

I was once in a meeting with a guy who sold and installed solar panels. When he asked a woman sitting next to him if she’d thought about putting solar panels on her house, she replied that she’d love to, but she couldn’t afford it. His response came with the casual immediacy of the salesman: “That’s what you think.” The challenge to broad adoption of solar used to be a lack of awareness. Now, it’s often a lack of capital. People understand that solar promises to save on utility costs over the long term, but many are discouraged by the investment cost of installation and the time it takes to recoup. One approach to offsetting those initial costs is the revolving loan fund , a pool of money often from a government body that provides initial capital the borrower can repay from the eventual savings. Once the loan is repaid, the fund invests in another similar project. Oakland’...

Full article: http://grist.org/news/crowdsourced-solar-gets-a-stamp-of-...

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