On Tuesday, Obama administration disclosed new measures of making green energy convenient to all layers of society including low-income Americans who do not own a home and have to put up with considerable housing costs.
The White House plans to set up “community solar” programs across the U.S. that would serve entire communities and make renewable energy accessible to low- and middle-income households and individuals.
The federal government also plans to open facilities that can provide 300 megawatts of cheaper, green energy to more than 49,000 federally subsidized new homes by 2020.
A week before, the White House signed an agreement with Brazil and vowed that the country would attain 20 percent of its energy from green sources in 15 years’ time. But such ambitious goal requires that the U.S. triples its current solar and other renewable energy sources.
Brian Deese, a senior adviser of the President, explained that the plan needs to overcome some technical and geographic hurdles first. For instance, some regions of the country are not sunny enough to sustain renewable energy facilities.
Additionally, researchers at the George Washington University Solar Institute expressed their concerns about how low-income residents would get access to more convenient solar energy. They learned that poorer households “lagged behind” their wealthier peers in accessing and benefiting from green energy.
The benefits involve fewer digits on the electricity bill, which may help the poor more than well-to-do Americans. But low-income individuals living in rented flats or houses cannot install solar panels on the roof because they are not the owners of the building. Moreover, many of them do not qualify for the discounts that had boosted solar panel expansion.
George Washington University study also showed that 40 percent U.S. households qualify as low-income because they gain less than $40,000 per year. But surprisingly, these households own or benefit from only 50 percent of solar panels across the U.S.
A federal report had showed that nearly half of U.S. small businesses and households do not have the necessary roof space to install solar panels.
The federal initiative to grant renewable access to lower income communities involve $520 million worth of projects set up by states, businesses and local authorities and about 250 projects from housing authorities and power companies.
The solar industry also announced that it has in store projects designed to grant solar access to people that do not own their own rooftops. SolarCiy, the largest green energy provider in the U.S., recently announced a community solar project designed to install 100 solar gardens that would help renters and low-income households to trim their energy bills.
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