Solar power is an important feature of a sustainable energy economy. Expanding local solar energy generation will help fight climate change, reduce air pollution, improve resilience and increase regional economic competitiveness. Solar power refers to the conversion of sunlight into useable energy. The three main forms of solar power are:
- Solar photovoltaics (PV), which convert light into electricity using photovoltaic cells arranged into panels.
- Concentrated solar power (CSP), which use lenses or mirrors to focus a large area of sunlight into a small beam that heats a fluid, which is then used to generate electricity.
- Solar thermal, which captures and uses the heat (thermal energy) from solar radiation, most often with solar hot water panels.
COG supports efforts to create a robust regional solar market, and to foster more solar deployment at lower cost. COG helps local governments develop solar energy plans, policies and initiatives, and assists agencies installing solar energy systems on their facilities, which contributes directly to the growth of this local industry. COG is also working with its member jurisdictions to reduce the “soft costs” of solar in the region through the Rooftop Solar Challenge II.