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Robert M. La Follette
School of Public Affairs
1225 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706

Telephone:  608.262.3581
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Students to describe solar energy proposal

Sam Shannon

Sam Harms

Two students who won a U.S. Department of Energy competition will explain their proposal about how to make solar energy more affordable at a La Follette School seminar on Tuesday, September 4, from noon to 1 p.m. with a pizza lunch in 6201 Microbial Sciences. Their talk is called "Here Comes the Sun: Incentivizing Solar Leasing."

Sam Harms and Sam Shannon were in Washington, D.C., in May 21 as part of the Startup America Policy Challenge announced by the White House in December 2011. The two talked with Richard Kauffman, senior advisor to the secretary of energy, and presented their ideas to a panel of industry and government leaders in energy, education and health policy.

Both students are in their second year of the master of public affairs program, and both are earning energy analysis and policy certificates.

Under Harms and Shannon’s proposal, the U.S. Department of Energy and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission would establish a framework to encourage electric utilities to lease solar photovoltaic modules to businesses and homeowners. Customers would pay monthly fees to use the electricity, which would make renewable power more affordable. Utilities would be able to put any excess onto the grid and apply all generated electricity toward state requirements to use renewable energy.

The session was moved from the La Follette School to Microbial Sciences.

Students win policy challenge with ideas on solar energy incentives, May 22, 2012, La Follette School News

— posted August 28, 2012; updated August 31, 2012