DOE Seeks Feedback on Methods to Lower the Cost of Solar
The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) SunShot Initiative issued a request for information ("RFI") seeking feedback from installers; utilities; manufacturers; state, municipal, and local governments; financial institutions; and other stakeholders regarding methods to dramatically drive down the price of residential solar energy systems. The RFI contains a dozen questions that when answered, DOE believes will help provide it with sufficient background information to potentially design a funding opportunity, competition, challenge or race to accelerate widespread solar deployment. Comments are due April 11, 2012. Some of the questions are:
- If you were to include incentives to reach a $2/W installed price at the residential level, what would you estimate the following incentives to provide (measured in $/W)?
- Federal Investment Tax Credit
- Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (i.e. accelerated depreciation)
- State and Local Incentives (quantify and name)
- Other (quantify and name)
- Given a business as usual context (assuming all current incentives), when do you think $2/W total installed price at the residential scale will be achieved?
- What key players would be needed to form a team to achieve $2/W? i.e. What types of organizations would need to collaborate to ensure the target is reached?
- What incentives – that are not tax credits, rebates or other financial incentives – could motivate solar installers, municipalities and utilities to drive down costs further? e.g. Would highly publicized, national recognition as America’s top solar installer or most solar friendly community be a strong motivator to accelerate price reductions? Why or why not?