Cutting costs has been the key to solar’s rapid expansion this decade. The lion’s share of cost reductions in the solar industry has come from reductions in module prices. The $4 per watt you’d have paid in 2006 for modules alone gets you the entire residential solar system installed today.
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In this report, the authors examine California's leadership in US expansion of renewable energy electricity generation by discussing first the boom in utility-scale solar farms in California and the subsequent employment effects of having built 4,250 MW of utility-scale solar powered electricity generating facilities in California over the last five years.
While PV modules and other hardware costs have dropped significantly over recent years, non-hardware soft costs have also fallen, but not nearly as sharply.
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) recently released a report that breaks down the ‘soft costs’ associated with the installation of residential and commercial photovoltaic systems in greater detail than ever before, with detailed looks at customer acquisition and system design costs, as well as permitting, inspection and interconnection costs.
More than 18,000 municipalities in the U.S. set their own solar permitting requirements. As a result, solar permitting requirements and costs vary dramatically city by city. Solar permitting can either be a walk in the park, or a bureaucratic headache. Vote Solar is developing a highly interactive permitting website that catalogs and scores current municipal permitting practices. The website incorporates data on current permitting practices from Clean Power Finance’s (CPF) National Solar Permitting Database (www.solarpermit.org), and scores municipalities on Vote Solar and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council’s (IREC) nine ‘solar permitting best practices.’ The website will include an education center with resources to empower citizens to streamline permitting practices in their communities.
This factsheet provides a list of renewable energy projects to which the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has given priority in 2012.
This factsheet provides a list of solar power projects that are pending or have received permits by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
Comments submitted to BLM on May 16, 2012 regarding the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Restoration Design Energy Project.
Joint Comments from the Arizona Solar Working Group to the Arizona BLM submitted May 16, 2012.