New York City launches community solar program

New York mayor Bill de Blasio recently announced a new solar incentive program. The Solarize NYC program allows communities, such as neighborhoods, to act as single purchasing groups, which gives them greater buying power. Savings will range from 10 to 20 percent. The city aims to 350 megawatts solar capacity by the 2025, of which 75 megawatts have already been installed.

In the United States, the number of homes with solar systems has increased rapidly; from 30,000 in 2006 to 400,000 in 2013. The U.S. Department of Energy predicts the figure could reach 3,800,000 homes by 2020. Besides tax incentives, lower production costs for solar panels have greatly contributed to this explosive growth. The lower costs are a result of increased mass production as well as production monitoring tools, e.g. for measuring thin-film stress, that can monitor quality in real-time.

The U.S. is still lagging behind Germany and China in terms of total solar energy production but is making great strives to catch up to these solar energy powerhouses. Local programs such as Solarize NYC are a vital part of this progress.

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