President Obama’s comprehensive energy plan included the pairing of investments in research and development with process improvements to reduce the bottlenecks and red tape associated with clean-energy technology deployment. The Department of Energy responded with the Rooftop Solar Challenge – a chance for local and regional teams to drive significant improvements in the market for solar panels in their communities and throughout the United States by identifying best practices to make installing solar energy cheaper and less cumbersome.
The results were overwhelming. Forty-six applicants from 17 states applied with approaches to reducing bureaucratic barriers and “soft costs,” such as administrative and permitting requirements, which can stifle the deployment of new technologies.
Last week, Secretary Steven Chu announced $12 million in support for 22 winning teams, which will allow them to pursue their proposals in collaboration with local and state governments, utilities, installers, and non-governmental organizations.
You can learn about the winners and see which parts of the United States they represent on the Sunshot Rooftop Solar Challenge map.
Article by Cyrus Wadia, Assistant Director for Clean Energy and Materials R&D.