Solar is becoming so much more than a hobby for the wealthy. As the technology improves, it not only becomes more inexpensive, but also necessary for the preservation of our environment and way of life.

Governments and countries have taken to the creation of massive solar farms in deserts and available land that is designated for that purpose.  Another growing trend is that of community solar where communities create solar gardens that renters or homeowners can purchase power rights to if they are unable to owns their own solar panels. All of these are steps taken towards meeting the energy needs of our growing population.

This serves to highlight the challenge of solar on a large scale in cities: space. When it comes to the evolution of solar in cities, available acreage is a challenge that they face to meet the needs of the large populations.

Such a scramble for available space has been the subject of a recent report by the Institute for Local Self Reliance or ISLR, particular focusing on the Solar Potential On Public Buildings. Interestingly enough, when they asked this question of many cities, the cities simple didn’t know of the amount of solar potential their municipal buildings had.

Eventually they found three cities that could somewhat gauge the solar potential of their rooftops, one of which was New York City. With the software interface on this scope however, they were unable to discern public buildings from private ones. In the end they found that approximately 411 megawatts of solar could indeed be generated by the rooftops in New York City.

As governments begin to shift towards solar and other renewable energy sources, there is a very high likelihood that many public buildings will have solar panels installed upon their rooftops. Much like IKEA putting every square inch of their roofs to good use, soon shall we see municipal buildings follow suit.