Study says there is increased potential for rooftop solar generation in U.S.

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The analysis used detailed light detection and ranging (LiDAR) data for 128 US cities across the country.

April 05, 2016
Study says there is increased potential for rooftop solar generation in U.S.

Photo: Michael Coghlan/Creative Commons.

The US Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has significantly increased the potential for US building rooftops to generate electricity from solar PV systems in a new technical study that is more detailed and extensive than previously achieved.

The analysis used detailed light detection and ranging (LiDAR) data for 128 US cities across the country, along with improved data analysis methods and simulation tools, to update and make more accurate estimates of technical potential of PV on rooftops at the national, state, and zip code level. The potential of 1,118GW of capacity and 1,432TWh of annual energy generation was possible, equivalent to 39% of current US electricity sales, the report said. This is almost double the previous analysis reported in 2008. 

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