New Report Looks at Financial Innovation in the Residential PV Market

June 8, 2015

News from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) is pleased to release a new report that explores how some state and local PV incentive programs have responded to the dynamic solar energy market environment by adopting their incentive offerings to help optimize expenditures and maintain their relevance. The residential PV market in the United State is currently characterized by declining installed costs, dwindling state and local PV initiatives, booming demand, a high share of third-party-owned (TPO) systems in the largest markets, a growing appreciation of the benefits that host-ownership can provide, and a recent proliferation of solar loan products designed to encourage host-ownership and capture those benefits.

The report describes the evolution of residential PV finance in the United States since 2007, focusing initially on the first wave of innovation that brought the rise of TPO, followed by the second and current wave of innovation involving solar loans, and pays particular attention to market drivers in each case. It also surveys the varied responses of state and local PV programs to this financial innovation. It concludes by discussing the various tradeoffs, considerations, and implementation challenges that confornt program managers when fine-tuning their incentive offerings.

Full report, as well as a summary slide deck, can be downloaded here. LBNL appreciates the funding support of the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative.

For more information, contact Mark Bolinger