Hello, we are team DACalytics comprised of Debbie, Anthony, Albert and Legeng. DAC stands for disadvantaged communities and is the focus our project today.
As California embraces a decarbonized economy, ensuring that communities that are disproportionately affected by pollution, socioeconomic, and health impacts benefit from cleaner energy and its associated health and economic benefits is one of our greatest challenges. One of our best opportunities to meet this challenge is to direct climate investments in these communities.
Recent state law supports this intent: requiring at least 25% of California Climate Investments from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund - an over $1B pool of proceeds from the cap and trade -- be used for programs that directly benefit disadvantaged communities. The California EPA has developed a rubric defining disadvantaged communities as those disproportionately affected by environmental pollution and other hazards that can lead to negative public health effects, exposure, or environmental degradation and in areas with concentrations of people that are of low-income, high unemployment, low levels of home-ownership, high rent burden, sensitive populations, or low levels of educational attainment.
California faces the immense challenge of investing over $250 million dollars in programs that will directly benefit disadvantaged communities. How do policymakers decide how to spend these funds in order to have the greatest impact?
That’s where DACalytics comes in. We’ve developed an open source mapping tool that incorporates data from NREL, Google’s Project Sunroof, the US Census and the US EPA to determine the prime areas in disadvantaged communities to invest in solar projects. We’re assessing high potential investment areas by (a) the impact a solar project would have in addressing electricity consumption demand, (b) potential power yield that could either be stored or sold, generating an economic benefit for local communities.
While separate maps exist for DACs, we’re the only ones that take multiple outside data sources to provide a comprehensive interactive tool to guide investment in disadvantaged communities.