The City of Portland, Oregon, utilized a grant opportunity from the U.S. Department of Energy to create an online map of solar electric and hot water installations in the city. The map increases awareness of, and facilitates the adoption of these technologies by providing information about existing installations, the suitability of sites for solar, and the current financial incentives. Additional information includes references to qualified installers and educational workshops for homeowners to facilitate the decision-making and installation process.
This education and information tool may not be applicable to all types of communities, particularly those with few installations or those without goals or targets to increase the adoption of solar water heating technologies. Even so, stakeholder collaboration can create economies of scale that reduce costs and increase benefits for all partners involved.
The creation of a robust and user-friendly education and information tool accessible by the broad population may result in increased awareness and wider adoption of solar water heating technologies. Portland has set a goal of 5 MW of installed solar energy by 2012 and monitors progress towards this goal on the map in order to encourage adoption of solar technology.
The development of a clean energy map showcasing existing installations can require significant investments of time, money, and effort. There are several examples of similar resources for use as practical guidelines including those in San Francisco, Berkeley, and Sacramento.
Solar water heating technologies are still not widely used despite their cost effectiveness. Increased awareness and familiarity with solar water heating technologies through showcasing existing installations can spur interest and wider adoption of these technologies.
Any party with an interest in an initiative.The ability or potential of a physical body to do work. The most common forms of energy are heat, light, mechanical (moving parts), and electrical.
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