On October 27, GW Solar Institute experts were featured in a Bloomberg BNA article on solar energy becoming cost competitive with electricity generated by coal and natural gas. The article builds on Deutsche Bank expert Vishal Shah's recent research note claiming that declining solar costs could reach grid parity in 47 states if the 30 percent Investment Tax Credit was maintained.
Today, 10 states in the US have already reached grid parity due to innovative financing and leasing models that are continuing to make solar a more attractive option for homeowners. Shah’s projection assumes that the cost of solar will continue to decline and that and that the cost to finance solar projects will remain low. If the investment tax credit for solar energy is not extended at the end of 2016, Shah reports that the number of states predicted to be at grid parity will drop to 36 states.
In an interview with Bloomberg BNA for Bloomberg Government, Director Ronen agrees that the rapidly declining cost of solar panels is driving these industry changes, but state-level clashes with utilities may delay grid parity.
"Utilities in states that have regulatory requirements to install the lowest-cost form of energy generation are starting to embrace solar power in some markets as well. Guys who weren't thinking of solar, when they do the math, solar comes out the winner. Still, the cost assumptions in the Deutsche Bank report are aggressive and underestimate the push-back at the state level seen by utilities that are opposed to further adoption of solar power projects."
GW Solar Institute Advisory Board member Scott Sklar was also featured in the article saying he believes that solar is “disruptive like cellular was to the phone industry” and that solar may reach grid parity throughout the US by 2020, if not sooner.