U.S. Solar Market Insight™ is a collaboration between the Solar Energy Industries Association® (SEIA®) and GTM Research that brings high-quality, solar-specific analysis and forecasts to industry professionals in the form of quarterly and annual reports. Released March 5, 2014.
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In a recent report, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory summarizes the Integrated Resource Plans of major Western U.S. utilities to assess their assumptions about future changes within the electricity markets they serve.
Solar has seen a 70% compound annual growth since 2010, with over 4GW installed in 2013. Indeed, preliminary numbers indicate that approximately 28% of all new US generation capacity installed in 2013 was from solar. Despite this growth, solar generation is still a small part of the overall generation mix. This holds true even for the states with the highest solar penetration.
Germany’s Fraunhofer institute recently released a report showing continued levalized cost of energy (LCOE) declines for photovoltaic (PV) technologies in Germany and for concentrating solar power (CSP) and concentrating photovoltaic (CPV) technologies in higher insolation areas outside of Germany.
As distributed generation (DG) solar energy systems continue to become more accessible and affordable, increased adoption of these grid-energy reducing technologies is likely. SEIA proposes the following principles as a foundation for designing rates that properly value and enable a high penetration of DG, while recognizing the interests of utility shareholders and non-generating customers in a system with just and reasonable rates. Overall, SEIA asserts that these principles are consistent with the imperative of public utility commissions and energy service providers to maintain reliable, cost-effective service to all customers while protecting the right of customers to generate their own energy in a manner that provides many public benefits including environmental protection and economic development.
A new study from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory finds that homes in California with rooftop solar installations sell for higher prices than comparable homes without solar. The authors find that the value of homes increases by $5,900 for every kW of solar installed, though this premium decreases by 9% per year of system age.
The U.S. installed 930 megawatts (MW) of photovoltaics (PV) in Q3 2013, up 20 percent over Q2 2013 and 35 percent over Q3 2012. This represents the second largest quarter in the history of the U.S. solar market and the largest quarter ever for residential PV installations. Even more importantly, 2013 is likely to be the first time in more than 15 years that the U.S. installs more solar capacity than world leader Germany, according to GTM Research forecasts.
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) recently released a report that breaks down the ‘soft costs’ associated with the installation of residential and commercial photovoltaic systems in greater detail than ever before, with detailed looks at customer acquisition and system design costs, as well as permitting, inspection and interconnection costs.
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory recently released a report discussing the opportunities and challenges inherent in utilizing Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) and Master Limited Partnerships (MLPs) as investment vehicles for the solar industry. The authors also discuss proposed rule changes that could enable renewable energy REITs and MLPs and possible investor reaction to those changes.