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Soft Costs Make A Bigger Difference As Solar Gets Cheaper

placeholderLast week’s graphic on the impact of local permitting on the cost of solar power was a big hit, so here’s a follow-up on “soft costs,” the expenses in a solar installation (including permitting) that are not the solar module. The chart compares the soft costs in the US to Germany (thanks to LBNL’s analysis), where these cost are much lower. The soft costs reductions attributable to the much larger solar market in Germany have already been accounted for and the chart shows those that are the result of other factors.

Lowering Soft Costs Means Big Solar Savings


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John directs the Democratic Energy program at ILSR and he focuses on energy policy developments that best expand the benefits of local ownership and dispersed generation of renewable energy. His seminal paper, Democratizing the Electricity System, describes how to blast the roadblocks to distributed renewable energy generation, and how such small-scale renewable energy projects are the key to the biggest strides in renewable energy development.   Farrell also authored the landmark report Energy Self-Reliant States, which serves as the definitive energy atlas for the United States, detailing the state-by-state renewable electricity generation potential. Farrell regularly provides discussion and analysis of distributed renewable energy policy on his blog, Energy Self-Reliant States (energyselfreliantstates.org), and articles are regularly syndicated on Grist and Renewable Energy World.   John Farrell can also be found on Twitter @johnffarrell, or at jfarrell@ilsr.org.

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