Region Forward Blog

Solar Powering Your Community

Apr 2, 2014


If the metropolitan Washington region were to get 5 percent of its electricity from solar it would reduce carbon emissions the equivalent of taking 789000 cars off the road and would generate $5.3 billion in economic activity. To help local governments realize the benefits of solar power COG is participating in the U.S. Department of Energy Sunshot Initiative Rooftop Solar Challenge.

COG’s partners in the Challenge put together a series of videos to help local governments grow their local solar market. The Rooftop Solar Challenge aims to make solar more affordable by reducing “soft costs” like permitting zoning and regulatory barriers. These videos explain those barriers and provide simple proven strategies and resources to reduce them.

Solar 101 for Local Governments is one of the six “lessons” available in the series. All six lessons are viewable here.

The videos are based on a report by the U.S. Department of Energy “Solar Powering Your Community: A Guide for Local Governments” which is available along with other resources at The report outlines policy and program options for building a sustainable local solar market. For each policy or program the report presents the benefits tips and implementation options highlights lessons and successes from around the country and provides links to additional reports references and tools.

For more information on the region’s Rooftop Solar Challenge program and to track our region’s progress visit: our Solar Roadmap and the Solar Ready II webpage. For an earlier November 2013 post on solar initiatives in the region ​click here.

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