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As part of the Obama Administration’s efforts to ensure America’s continued leadership in clean energy and double renewable electricity generation once again by 2020, the Energy Department today announced eight teams to spur solar power deployment by cutting red tape for residential and small commercial rooftop solar systems. As part of the Department’s Rooftop Solar Challenge, these teams will receive about $12 million– matched by over $4 million in outside funding – to streamline and standardize solar permitting, zoning, metering and connection processes for communities across the country.
The Energy Department’s Rooftop Solar Challenge is a part of a larger effort to make solar energy more accessible and affordable and position the U.S. as a leader in the rapidly-growing global solar market. Non-hardware, or “soft,” costs like permitting, installation, design and maintenance now account for more than 60 percent of the total cost of installed rooftop photovoltaic (PV) systems in the United States. Across the nation, there are more than 18,000 local jurisdictions with their own PV permitting requirements as well as more than 5,000 utilities that set rules for connecting to the power grid.
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