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  1. Sustainable development requires an accelerated transition toward renewable energy. In particular, substantially scaling up solar photovoltaics (PV) adoption is a crucial component of reducing the impacts of climate change and promoting sustainable development. However, it is challenging to convince local governments to take action. This study uses a combination of propensity score matching (PSM) and difference-in-differences (DID) models to assess the effectiveness of a voluntary environmental program (VEP) called SolSmart that targets local governments to engage in solar-friendly practices to promote the local solar PV market in the United States. Via specific designation requirements and technical assistance, SolSmart simplifies the process of acting on interest in being solar friendly, has a wide coverage of basic solar-friendly actions with flexible implementation, and motivates completion with multiple levels of designation. We find that a local government’s participation in SolSmart is associated with an increased installed capacity of 18 to 19%/mo or with less statistical significance, an increased number of installations of 17%/mo in its jurisdiction. However, SolSmart has not shown a statistically significant impact on soft cost reductions to date. In evaluating the impact of the SolSmart program, this study improves our understanding of the causation between a VEP that encourages solar-friendlymore »local government practices and multiple solar market outcomes. VEPs may be able to promote shifts toward sustainable development at the local level. Our findings have several implications for the design of VEPs that promote local sustainability.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 15, 2023
  2. Purpose The purpose of this paper is to understand citizens' perceptions of smartphone-based city management apps and to identify facilitators and barriers that influence app adoption and use. An aim is to identify how current technology adoption theories might be expanded and enriched for studying citizen adoption of city apps in the US. Design/methodology/approach This paper presents a qualitative exploratory case study of citizen perceptions of city management apps in Tallahassee, a top-ranked digital city in the southeastern United States. The authors derive empirical data from focus group discussions with citizens using thematic analysis. Findings Overall, the findings suggest that city management apps are primarily perceived and used by citizens as handy and efficient tools for the provision of information and public services. The findings suggest that current technology adoption and use models applied to citizen adoption of m-government may benefit by being expanded for the US context. Originality/value This paper highlights what factors of m-government technology are effective, useful or inhibiting in citizens' lives from the perspective of a group of citizens in the southeastern US. Implications that might be learned for researchers and practitioners are discussed.
  3. The propensity of metals to form irregular and nonplanar electrodeposits at liquid-solid interfaces has emerged as a fundamental barrier to high-energy, rechargeable batteries that use metal anodes. We report an epitaxial mechanism to regulate nucleation, growth, and reversibility of metal anodes. The crystallographic, surface texturing, and electrochemical criteria for reversible epitaxial electrodeposition of metals are defined and their effectiveness demonstrated by using zinc (Zn), a safe, low-cost, and energy-dense battery anode material. Graphene, with a low lattice mismatch for Zn, is shown to be effective in driving deposition of Zn with a locked crystallographic orientation relation. The resultant epitaxial Zn anodes achieve exceptional reversibility over thousands of cycles at moderate and high rates. Reversible electrochemical epitaxy of metals provides a general pathway toward energy-dense batteries with high reversibility.