Until recently, rooftop solar panels were a clean energy technology that only wealthy Americans could afford. But prices have dropped, thanks mostly to falling costs for hardware, as well as price declines for installation and other “soft” costs. Today hundreds of thousands of middle-class households across the U.S. are turning to solar power. But households with incomes below the median for their areas remain less likely to go solar. These low- and moderate-income households face several roadblocks to solar adoption, including cash constraints, low rates of home ownership and language barriers. Our team of researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory examined how various policies and business models could affect the likelihood of people at all income levels adopting solar. In a recently published study, we analyzed five common solar policies and business models to see whether they attracted lower-income households.
The Conversation 19th Jan 2021 read more »