Clean Energy

The PACE of clean energy development

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Science  03 Mar 2017:
Vol. 355, Issue 6328, pp. 921-922
DOI: 10.1126/science.355.6328.921-c

Residential solar photovoltaic installations can be encouraged with funding mechanisms that cost taxpayers nothing.

PHOTO: ASHLEY COOPER/GETTY IMAGES

The Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program is a national initiative designed to promote investment in solar photovoltaics by commercial, nonprofit, and residential property owners. Its central feature is to provide low-cost, long-term funding, which is repaid as an assessment on the property's regular tax bill, as is done for sidewalks and sewers, for example. Spurring such investment clearly is a good goal, but is the program effective? Ameli et al. used a natural experiment in northern California to test the capacity of PACE, finding that it has been a great success, more than doubling residential photovoltaic installations in the region at no cost to the taxpayers.

Appl. Energy 10.1016/j.apenergy.2017.01.037 (2017).

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