Each year the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) publishes separate national solar market reports relating to distributed and utility-scale solar. The most recent reports were published in August 2016 and offer a trove of data relating to these markets as they stood in 2015. This blog article highlights some of the major developments in the market as they relate to national trends in installations and costs. First, researchers at LBNL have tracked historical solar capacity additions since 2007, as illustrated in Figure 1. Utility-scale installations, utility-scale photovoltaics (PV) in particular, have historically been the largest driver of capacity expansion. LBNL, along with other market experts, anticipate this trend will continue through 2021. Continue reading
NREL Conduit Blog
The NREL Conduit Blog discusses research relevant to state, local, and tribal governments. Contributing authors provide posts related to events, policy analysis, and decision support outcomes to inform the market in a credible and timely fashion.
September 19, 2016
September 12, 2016
Cities need timely, comprehensive, localized energy data to make informed energy decisions. More often than not that data is simply unavailable, until now. The Department of Energy’s Cities Leading through Energy Analysis and Planning (Cities-LEAP) project recently developed a city energy profile for every U.S. city, including estimates of: Continue reading
September 06, 2016
While the costs of solar photovoltaics (PV) have decreased considerably over the last decade, many customers still need long-term, low-cost financing to make going solar affordable. Financing mechanisms like leases, loans, and power purchase agreements spread out the initial cost of residential solar installations over a term of years.
Residential Property Assessed Clean Energy (R-PACE) offers another solution for homeowners to pay for a solar investment over time.Continue reading
September 02, 2016
The U.S. distributed solar market has grown by leaps and bounds over the last decade.  Over seventy- times the residential solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity was installed in the U.S. in 2015 (2,099 MW) as was installed in 2005 (27 MW).  While the significant opportunities for gainful enterprise in the residential PV economy signal solar market health, they have also brought consumer-focused issues to the fore. Policymakers, regulators, advocacy groups, and the solar industry are giving increasing attention to ensuring that consumers receive accurate information and ultimately have good experiences with solar energy installation. A number of new resources are intended to help further residential solar understanding. Continue reading