Environment Maryland Research & Policy Center, a Baltimore nonprofit organization, released a report Tuesday that aims to highlight the benefits of solar energy as Baltimore forges ahead with a financing model to make solar available to low-income homeowners.
The report reviewed 16 studies about the value of solar energy and concluded that solar power is a better value than electricity.
Solar power costs about 16 cents per unit, three cents more than the average retail electricity rate, according to the studies Environment America reviewed.
But solar power has benefits — to customers and utility companies — that normal generation does not, according to the report.
For example, solar installations could reduce the demand for electricity, which would avoid some energy costs and could reduce the amount utilities must spend on capital improvements, such as expanding distribution capacity and building new power plants.
The price of solar also is more stable than the price of fossil fuel, which could protect consumers from price volatility. A clean energy, solar can help reduce air pollution and control greenhouse gas emissions, according to the report.
The report was written by Environment America Research & Policy Center and Frontier Group, an energy think tank.