What Will it Take to See the Benefits of Solar Power in Detroit?

Poorly governed and neglected by turfy utilities, Michigan’s solar infrastructure is barely evolving. Last year, a National Renewable Energy Laboratory analysis (PDF) found that the state’s slow crawl was best summed up in four words: Inefficient permitting and taxation.

But some sun is slowly creeping in, thanks to the Department of Energy’s Sunshot Initiative and Detroit Edison’s SolarCurrents program. Both are designed to make the process of installing solar systems on homes and businesses more efficient for consumers in hopes of kick-starting Michigan’s renewable infrastructure and seeing some of the benefits of solar power in Detroit and other cities.

Every little bit counts. Which is a good thing, because these bits aren’t big enough to push not just Michigan, but all of the United States past competitive superpowers like Slovenia and Estonia in the ranks of nations that use renewable energy to empower their people.