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A brighter future: solar energy in BC

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This report collects and analyzes the available information on solar energy development in BC, including existing major barriers, costs and benefits, and externalities. The objective is to assess the future viability of solar and recommend policies that can improve its viability. It is a first step in considering solar energy as a dependable energy alternative to help power BC’s future. Under current conditions, the net benefits of solar are negative due to regulatory and cost barriers. Three policy bundles designed to address these barriers are assessed using a set of criteria that include sustainability, stakeholder acceptance, administrative ease, and efficiency. I recommend a combination of regulatory reform, technology assistance, and allowing consumers the option of paying a premium for solar or other green electricity generation. The recommended policy bundle will allow solar to reach grid parity in BC at minimal cost to government and add to BC’s electricity capacity.
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