Broadening Access to Clean Energy
Clean energy deployment is growing exponentially thanks to declining costs and a growing number of policy incentives. However, a large fraction of the population is generally excluded from the benefits of more affordable and less polluting energy. Low-income communities in particular have seen disproportionately lower levels of clean energy deployment, raising issues of economic and environmental justice and potentially challenging the political viability of clean energy policies. We're looking globally at the challenges of clean energy access and we’re partnering with NGOs to understand best practices for broadening access to solar energy in different communities across the United States.
Our objective in this report is to present a set of creative financing models that can enable a long-standing and sustainable platform for nonprofit solar developer and Habitat for Humanity affiliate collaboration. The models we present span the range from well-known to untested, and some may require piloting and iterative refinement before they are able to provide participants with long-term benefit.
Community shared solar (CSS) is an emerging approach to increase solar energy deployment and broaden access to its benefits, with the potential to address the disproportionate "energy burden" faced by low-income households. We are studying CSS programs in six states to understand the diversity of approaches being taken to broaden access to community solar for low- and moderate-income households.
Energy access entails a range of metrics that need to be monitored to guide planning and implementation of electricity provision in developing nations. A study based on an extensive household survey carried out in rural India demonstrates that electricity supply duration is the best predictor for satisfaction with electricity service.
Rahul Sharma, Karnamadakala, and Gabriel Chan. "Energy poverty: Electrification and well-being." Nature Energy 1 (2016): 16171.