Solar energy could provides many benefits to local governments including:
Financial: Solar PV and other solar technologies can provide an attractive financial return on investment while also insulating the system host from future increases in the cost of electricity or non-renewable fossil fuels.
Environmental: The majority of electricity we use in Minnesota today is generated from burning coal or other fossil fuels. Solar systems produce electricity and heat energy without emissions of any kind and help to combat greenhouse gas emissions and global warming.
Self-reliance and local economic development: Solar systems can also contribute to grid reliability and energy price stabilization. Distributed generation supports strong local economies and helps to create local jobs.
Education/role model: On public buildings, a solar installation can also act as educational tool for the general public that catalyzes additional solar development throughout the community.
Contains basic information about solar power and is a good place to begin the process of learning about solar energy.
This report compares PV economic returns for different PV customers using economic performance metrics including net present value (NPV), profitability index (PI), benefit-to-cost (B/C) ratio, internal rate of return (IRR), modified internal rate of return (MIRR), simple payback and time-to-net-positive-cash-flow (TNP) payback, annualized monthly bill savings (MBS), and levelized cost of energy (LCOE). They characterize relative PV economics for each metric over a range of system characteristics,
including PV system price and several non-price parameters including financing terms, tax rates, electricity rates and assumed rate escalations, and PV system performance.
Wind and sun are available everywhere, so renewable energy can be economically harnessed at small scales across the country, state and community. This nature of renewable energy, coupled with an exponential increase of renewable energy generation here and abroad promises to transform the structure and scale of the nation’s grid system. But the greater transformation is the democratization of the electric grid, abandoning a 20th century grid dominated by large, centralized utilities for a 21st century grid, a democratized network of independently-owned and widely dispersed renewable energy generators, with the economic benefits of electricity generation as widely dispersed as the ownership.
The Jobs and Economic Development Impact (JEDI) models are user-friendly tools that estimate the economic impacts of constructing and operating power generation and biofuel plants at the local and state levels. First developed by NREL’s Wind Powering America program to model wind energy impacts, JEDI has been expanded to analyze concentrating solar power, photovoltaics, marine and hydrokinetic power, biofuels, coal and natural gas power plants.