Location: Industry Trends, Booth #157, Level 2, Venetian Expo Hall
Community solar has often been advanced on the grounds that it can expand solar energy into under-served segments of the population. But has it delivered on that promise? This presentation will unveil key findings from a recent Berkeley Lab study that evaluates equity outcomes in the community solar market. The study leverages household-level data on individual community solar subscribers and rooftop solar adopters across the US, comparing equity outcomes for community solar to both rooftop solar adopters and the broader population in each region. In doing so, the study characterizes the demographic profile of community solar subscribers in terms of race and ethnicity, educational levels, renters vs. homeowners, housing type, and broader community characteristics, including designation as a disadvantaged community. The study also offers insights into how the design of community solar programs, including provisions targeting low-income subscribers, impact the equity outcomes.