A team of University of California-Davis (UCD) students have received word that they will be presenting their research on green home construction technologies to the U.S. Department of Energy in 2015. UCD student researcher Aggie Sol received a $50,000 grant from the Department of Energy following her acceptance as a candidate in the 2015 Solar Decathlon. Sol’s team will compete against 19 other universities for a funding award, as The Daily Democrat reports.
Costs Remain a Significant Barrier to Adoption
The goal of the Solar Decathlon is to bring the nation’s best and brightest scientific minds in the realm of green home building ideas and technologies together in hopes of making solar powered technologies and the homes that use them more affordable for all Americans. Adoption of green home additions and new green builds has increased significantly since 2005. In commercial markets, for instance, 13.2% of buildings now use some form of green technology; that’s over a 10% increase since 2005, according to Energy Star.
Solar energy tech has proven to be one of the most popular green technologies for those looking into building a green home, thanks in no small part to rapidly declining prices. Since 2008, according to CBS News, solar panel costs have dropped by a staggering 70%. Still, while solar technology is more affordable, that doesn’t mean it’s truly affordable for all Americans.
UC Research May Be Aimed at Low-Income Americans, but It Means Big Things for All
And that is really what’s at the heart of UC Davis’s efforts. Sol and her team are said to have developed home designs specifically for farmhands and other low-income Americans. By making this technology affordable for those with the least amount of money to spend on green home improvements, the UC Davis team believes strongly that they can help drive a solar revolution in all homes. Whether or not that will be the case remains a question to be answered by the U.S. Department of Energy at the Solar Decathlon in 2015.
Do you think that a truly affordable option for solar energy will make green home improvements viable options for more American homeowners? Tell us why or why not in the comment section below.
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