Solar, Cities, and SolaBlock

There’s no doubt about it, solar power is booming. The amount of installations built in the United States have been steadily increasing during the past few years. By the end of 2016, 1.4 Gigawatts of PV (photovoltaic) capacity were added to the United States, which is double of what was produced in 2015, giving an overall total of 36 GW of PV power. While solar production has increased overall, it has mostly been in areas with a smaller population density. Research shows that the greater the population density of an area is, the less solar energy is produced. That means cities have a much lower solar output compared to more rural areas.  

 

Out of all the cities in the United States, New York City ranked last in PV usage. According to the report below, “Urban U.S. Solar Electric Usage and Population Density” this is due to the lack of available rooftop space, which makes solar panels less effective due to how close in proximity they are to one another. To sum up the report, because of the lack of space in cities, there is less real estate to space out solar panels, whereas in more rural areas the solar panels have the space necessary to work at full capacity.  This is an issue for a multitude of reasons. One, the amount of electricity used to power a city is massive. Two, States have solar incentive programs that aren’t being tapped into. This is partially due to the lack of solar products that would be effective in a city landscape. If solar incentives were tapped into, landlords, business owners, project developers, and tenants could potentially save money, due to tax breaks, and less electricity being consumed.

Solablock is dedicated to helping cities develop their solar potential. One of the ways Solablock can do this is by partnering with developers to build solar on developing sites. Since Solablock can be installed at the same cost, or cheaper than brick, it would be easy for developers to integrate solar without having to pay massive amounts of money to install rooftop solar panels. Even existing structures, such as college campuses, could benefit from integrating Solablock. Partnering with Solablock will help developers tap into similar tax incentives that rooftop solar has, without having to risk a ton of money building solar panels. For owners, who pay electricity bills, Solablock will also help keep overall cost of electric bills down. Finally, while cities lack the real estate necessary for rooftop solar to reach its potential, Solablock can take advantage of the abundant vertical space on the sides of buildings.

To read the report “Urban U.S. Solar Electric Usage and Population Density”, click here.