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Wed Jun 27, 2012, 01:08 AM

Who Owns Solar?

Who Owns Solar?
Expanding ownership models are growing the solar industry.
HERMAN K. TRABISH: JUNE 19, 2012

Along with the emergence of three distinct ownership models (customer-owned, third-party-owned, and utility-owned), the U.S. photovoltaic (PV) market has grown, over the last ten years, at an average annual rate of approximately 70 percent, according to GTM Research.

...The bulk of national solar growth has been in rooftop installations. More than 62,000 systems were installed in the U.S. in 2011, bringing the national cumulative total at the end of the year to over 203,000 distributed PV systems making up an installed capacity of almost 2,700 megawatts (AC).

...



In 2009, residential systems were 87 percent customer-owned and commercial systems were 49 percent customer-owned. Customer ownership of commercial systems increased in 2011 to 58 percent.

But as third-party ownership became the fastest-growing segment of the residential rooftop sector of the industry, customer ownership of residential systems fell to 59 percent and third-party ownership of residential systems went from 2009’s 13 percent to 41 percent in 2011.

http://www.greentechmedia.com/content/images/articles/2CPFsunshot(1).jpg

The economics of solar...



More at: http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/who-owns-solar/

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Response to kristopher (Original post)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 01:20 AM

1. corporate scum = strangle rooftop solar, dont let the political prostitues allow this. the sun is

OURS and we should have first crack at using it. tell your local political hacks to keep corporations away from your are solar development

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Response to msongs (Reply #1)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 10:49 AM

2. To the extent that 3rd party ownership

involves leased systems, it's not necessarily a bad thing. Leasing makes solar more affordable and speeds the move away from fossile fuels. And it's still a distributed system, which is key to the move toward sustainability.

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Response to pscot (Reply #2)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 11:38 AM

3. Indeed

I’d love to put solar panels on my roof, but it faces the wrong way and is shaded by a number of tall trees.

So, instead, I buy my grid electricity from a supplier who generates it using renewable sources (i.e. “wind” and “low-impact” hydro.)

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Response to pscot (Reply #2)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 12:16 PM

4. I got some quotes from a solar leasing company a couple months ago

The math was interesting. You could do a 'no money down' lease or a 'prepaid lease' (both over 20 years). With a 'no-money-down' lease, the rental fee increased by 2% each year. I ran the numbers, and in round figures, the prepaid lease was about $6000 up front. The regular lease with the increasing fees would cost around $17000. (behold, the power of compounding exponentials)

If you imagine inflation proceeding at >= 2% yearly, and also imagine that your salary more or less keeps pace, it might be not so different in the end.

Aside: the tax credits for owning the solar were a major component of the company's business model. Without the currently substantial credits, the cost structure for the customer would be quite different.

Good, bad or sideways, I think the leasing model is likely the only plausible approach to providing rooftop solar for any significant number of people. Very few people can afford to actually purchase it. Or, equivalently, purchasing on credit, I guess. Lease the equipment, or lease the money.

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Response to phantom power (Reply #4)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 01:50 PM

5. I particularly like the business model where the fee the consumer pays is determined by usage.

i.e. the solar company becomes your electric supplier, with a generating plant on your roof.

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Response to OKIsItJustMe (Reply #5)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 05:43 PM

6. Yes, there is actually a fair variety in business models...

I wonder if that will eventually standardize.

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