While the total cost of residential PV systems has declined by more than 65% over the last decade, hardware costs have fallen much faster than soft costs. Therefore, the soft cost share of total residential system cost has risen from 58% of total system cost in 2014 to 65% today.
The solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) is one of the most important federal policy mechanisms to support the growth of solar energy in the United States. Since the ITC was enacted in 2006, the U.S. solar industry has grown by more than 8,600% - creating hundreds of thousands of jobs and investing billions of dollars in the U.S. economy in the process. In 2015, SEIA successfully advocated for a multi-year extension of the credit, which has provided critical stability for businesses and investors.
As the national solar trade association, SEIA encourages solutions to maximize access to solar energy to ALL families and communities. Historically, access to solar energy has been more difficult for Low-Moderate Income (LMI) households due, potentially, to a range of factors such as lack of home ownership, limited credit history, or poor credit. To allow broader access to the benefits of clean, affordable solar energy, SEIA offers the following principles for our membership, policymakers, and other stakeholders in the solar economy.
Energy storage systems are being deployed with residential, commercial and utility applications, helping all generation sources connected to the grid become more efficient and cost-competitive. Encompassing a multitude of technologies, including chemical batteries, thermal, and pumped hydro, energy storage stores excess energy and converts it back to electricity when most needed. This inherent flexibility is critical to building a resilient, reliable and sustainable electrical grid.
Major U.S. businesses are choosing solar at a rapid rate to power their operations. SEIA’s Solar Means Business Report tracks a variety of commercial solar installations, including the top 25 corporate solar users, many of whom are Fortune 500 companies.
On Jan. 23, 2018, President Trump signed a proclamation that placed tariffs on imported solar cells and modules for a period of four years. This decision came on the heels of a nearly 9-month case before the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) after two solar manufacturers, Suniva and SolarWorld, filed a petition seeking tariffs. The final tariff will have significant negative impacts on the entire solar industry, from manufacturing and distribution to installation and finance.
In 1978, Congress passed the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA) to encourage fuel diversity via alternative energy sources and to introduce competition into the electric sector. As solar prices have fallen over the last decade, PURPA has become an attractive option for solar developers. Analysts predict that PURPA will be the top driver of utility-scale solar installations moving forward. Download this PURPA 101 factsheet, which provides an overview of the law itself and the implications for solar deployment.
SEIA works alongside local partners and advocates to protect existing solar markets and open new ones, by creating stable policy frameworks at the legislative and regulatory level. Download the factsheet below to see what SEIA's state affairs team has been doing to advance solar policy in the third quarter of 2017.
Recently, the value to the national electric grid of solar and other renewable energy sources has been questioned. As can be seen from the numerous studies referenced in this paper, solar and renewables provide significant benefits to the national grid in terms of reliability, fuel diversity, and security. In addition, the 9,000 American solar companies employ over 260,000 American workers and invest tens of billions of dollars every year into the American economy.