“If prices keep dropping, [rooftop solar] adoption will continue and a smart utility CEO would watch the market and think about ways utilities can have some control over distributed resources.”
Rooftop solar’s growth has slowed nationally, but its price to customers continues to fall, leaving market watchers questioning its future.
In 2017, the installed price of residential photovoltaic (PV) solar continued its 20-year price decline, but at a slower pace than the 2009 to 2013 glory years. Tariffs on imported solar products and the rising cost of finding customers slowed the price decline and flattened growth, leaving installers, policymakers and utilities asking if the price will keep falling and, if it does, how low it will go. Changing solar incentives make this question especially important.
The 30% federal investment tax credit will begin phasing down in 2021, which could offset any benefit of tariffs being lifted. In addition, retail rate net energy metering is already slowly being replaced with successor tariffs that provide lower compensation for exported solar generation.