Internet-based environmental organizing brings down price of solar

Via Wired Science, an excerpt on the One Block Off the Grid project:

“While researchers have struggled for half a century to push down the cost of solar photovoltaic modules, an innovative web service is creating communities of customers who pay less for solar panels through collective bargaining with installers.

One Block Off the Grid collects groups of would-be solar purchasers in cities with good solar access and brokers a deal between them and a local installer. It’s internet-based environmental organizing, and it appears to be working.

In a campaign running in San Diego, their customers will pay just $5.29 per watt of power capacity. Even after paying for an inverter to convert the DC power the panels generate into the AC power appliances use, the total One Block Off the Grid price is substantially lower than the San Diego County average. According to California Energy Commission statistics, the average total cost of a solar photovoltaic system is almost $8 per watt.

Now, they are launching a new tool that will provide instantaneous solar price estimates, the first online tool to do so. The new interface went live Sunday.

“The power of the internet has not been harnessed by the solar industry,” said Brad Burton, who heads up products and strategy at 1BOG. “The components of viral growth and immediate person-to-person contact haven’t been explored at all.”

2 Comments Internet-based environmental organizing brings down price of solar

  1. A. Karttunen

    Cheers Michel, other administrators,

    Couldn’t find your mail address anywhere, so I write this note here,
    although it’s off-the-topic:

    Please note that on the page
    http://p2pfoundation.net/Product_Hacking

    the link
    “1. LiberLab a DIY digital lab at a very low price”
    now goes to a hardcore porn-site.

    Maybe the URL should be replaced by this:
    http://sites.google.com/site/liberlabsite/

    And one could also add this to the same section:
    http://www.replab.org/

  2. Michel Bauwens

    wow, thanks for the warning in the LiberLab link, I have corrected it. My email is michelsub2004 via gmail and if you want direct access to our wiki, do let me know. Your assistance is much appreciated,

    Michel

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