The GOOD 100: Solar Bonds The GOOD 100: Solar Bonds
The GOOD 100: Solar Bonds
Taking Stock of the SunThe challenges facing a widespread shift to solar power are not small: Complicated physics, materials shortages, and price are the big ones. Unexpectedly, it is cost that seems hardest to overcome. No matter how cheap silicon or thin-film photovoltaic cells become, there will always be the cost of installing them on your roof-an expense that currently doubles or even triples the price of every solar panel. They can take decades to pay off, far longer than most homeowners or businesses stay in the building they've thus improved.What to do then if you want to wean an industrial powerhouse like the United States off fossil fuels for reasons of climate, national security, energy independence (take your pick)? Solar bonds.The idea is simple. Just as the U.S. Treasury Department raises funds by selling bonds that, in essence, promise a slice of future tax revenue to bondholders, solar bonds would raise money for the bond issuer to install solar panels on a house or a business. In exchange, the owner of said property would pay a fixed rate for solar-generated electricity, and a slice of that revenue would go back to the bondholder.That's the business model put together by SunEdison, an international solar company, and it could work well for government buildings and the big-box stores of the world, but what about homeowners? Companies like SunRun have sprung up to fill that gap, but the agreements that they offer can be more than a decade long-which is longer than most people will own a particular home.That's where cities like Berkeley, California, and Boulder, Colorado, step in. Those cities have set up a program to sell municipal bonds to pay for home solar installations that are then repaid via property taxes over a 20-year period. Since the taxes are tied to the property instead of the individual, the financial burden of paying for the solar-power system can be transferred from owner to owner.
A New Weapon in the Fight Against ISIS’ Archeological Destruction: 3D Cameras The Million Image Database Project wants to give citizen photographers around the world the power to digitally preserve their national treasures.
Here’s Our Dream Cast for a James Bond Film Featuring All Black Actors After actor Idris Elba was called “too street” to play the iconic British spy, perhaps it’s time for actors of color to reboot the whole Bond franchise.
How Color-Changing Crystals Could Alter the Way Football Handles Concussions A monster hit turns them from, say, green to purple.
How Much Does Energy Really Cost? U.S. consumers spend about 7.3 percent of their annual incomes on energy. But that’s not the whole story.
Ad Shows Hilarious Effects Of Awesome New Drug “Do you find yourself longing for the apocalypse?”
How a Tiny Publishing House is Solving D.C.’s Education Problem Our nation’s capital currently has the second-worst public school system in the country. #ProjectLiteracy
A New Weapon in the Fight Against ISIS’ Archeological Destruction: 3D Cameras Here’s Our Dream Cast for a James Bond Film Featuring All Black Actors How Color-Changing Crystals Could Alter the Way Football Handles Concussions How Much Does Energy Really Cost? Ad Shows Hilarious Effects Of Awesome New Drug How a Tiny Publishing House is Solving D.C.’s Education Problem “Skin a Watermelon” Trick is Very Cool. And a Little Creepy. 20 Crazy Images Show What Modern Life is Like Yoga Joe Spins Traditional Male Stereotype On Its Head (Literally) Texas Abortion Doctor Fights Back with Perfect Passive-Aggressive Letter Syrian Refugees Pedal for Asylum by Biking Across Norway’s Arctic Border One Man’s Plan to End World Hunger By Getting Us to Eat Expired Food
Project Literacy Building partnerships for a more literate future. Data for GOOD Harnessing the power of information. The GOOD Wellness Project How our choices help our bodies thrive. The 2014 GOOD City Index GOOD's annual breakdown of the most inspiring cities in the world. The GOOD Cities Project We create the cities we love, and the cities we love create us. The GOOD 100 Find out what kind of global citizen you are in this immersive quiz inspired by our annual celebration of 100 creative changemakers.