Solar power is booming across the US, as PV panel costs fall and interest in clean and distributed energy grows. In Vermont, net-metered solar electric generation has grown dramatically over the last seven years due to state and federal policies incentivizing net metering. At the state level, Vermont established group net metering policies creating a stable source of revenue that its banks and credit unions have relied on to approve financing to purchase solar projects. The federal residential investment tax credit (ITC), providing a 30 percent credit for Solar PV generation, further supports solar ownership. While solar ownership has grown, some policymakers and advocates are concerned that the benefits of net-metered solar are not fairly distributed throughout the economy. This chapter explores trends in renewable energy development and how clean distributed energy may disrupt the current utility model. The chapter also explores current state and federal policies for solar development and how they can be used to promote meaningful community ownership: a model that supports the local economy while reducing carbon emissions. The chapter concludes by exploring strategies for scaling up Vermont‘s community solar model to support the goals of a new economy.
Kevin B. Jones and Mark James
Peter Allen, Mark Strathern and James Baldwin
Mark Birkin, William James, Nik Lomax and Andrew Smith
This chapter addresses the linkage of data sets, incorporating the characteristics of individuals using the technique of spatial microsimulation (SMSM). We present two case studies to exemplify how SMSM can be used in planning support systems (PSS), both of which are combining data from different sources. The first details ongoing work to produce household and population projections which are being used for resource planning for a range of utilities. The second describes a project estimating consumer demand for pork and other meat products in the UK. We offer some conclusions on the current challenges faced when linking data sets for the purposes of planning support and conclude that SMSM offers the potential to provide smarter, more flexible PSS because models are produced of individuals who require services and make decisions.