Solar energy already competes head-to-head with retail electric rates in a few parts of the United States, but a new study by the Institute for Local Self Reliance shows that its coming quickly to the rest of us. The study, Commercial Rooftop Revolution, found that grid parity is just around the corner for millions of businesses seeking to control their energy costs.
Key Findings of the study include:
- Falling solar costs will result in 33,000 MW of unsubsidized commercial rooftop solar achieving price parity by 2016, enough to meet 2.7% of commercial electricity demand.
- Falling solar costs mean 122,000 MW of unsubsidized commercial rooftop solar will be at price parity by 2022, enough to meet 10% of commercial electricity demand.
- Although commercial solar is growing faster, unsubsidized residential solar has a significantly larger parity potential (190,000 MW by 2022, compared to 122,000 MW for commercial solar).
- Together, unsubsidized residential and commercial solar at price parity could provide 9% of total U.S. electricity by 2022.
- As the economic barrier shatters, other barriers to rooftop solar emerge: archaic utility rules (e.g. the 15% Rule), net metering caps, limits of local permitting offices, and a dearth of state virtual net metering policies.
In fact, while grid parity for commercial solar energy in 2012 shows that while solar is competitive in just a few states, it will be widespread in 2022.
The whole report is excellent. Spread the word.
Here's a link to the ILSR blog with more summary information: Summary
Here's a link to a PDF of the report itself: Commercial Rooftop Revolution