Polls consistently show that s olar photovoltaics (PV) are the most popular energy source among consumers. Still, these semiconductors that generate electricity directly from sunlight produce less than one half of one percent of the world’s total electricity.
The prime obstacle to widespread deployment of solar PV is cost. One way to lower costs is to design community-based programs that achieve economy of scale and reach markets that have yet to tap solar energy in a big way.
Marin County , as well as other communities in the San Francisco Bay Area, are currently investigating “Community Choice Aggregation” (CCA), a a new way for cities and counties to purchase electricity. Local governments can now represent constituents-at-large in the fight against climate change. The CCA process provides an easy way to change the content of the power supply – by a vote of each local government -- without taking on the burden of managing the power lines, collecting bills, and the divisive politics involved with the typically highly contested (and expensive) municipalization process.