Thursday, August 2, 2012

Guest Post: Betting on the Decline of Residential Solar PV Financing : Greentech Media

Guest Post: Betting on the Decline of Residential Solar PV Financing : Greentech Media:

Thomas Dinkel, CEO of SunReports, said that people will start buying more solar PV when they realize, like the Germans already have, that it is the safest and most guaranteed investment that you can make -- if you own it. There is not another place you can put your money that has such low risk. If anything, people will start getting capital from regular banks, but at least they’ll still own the system.

Chris Oestreich from SnapNrack said that he feels we will continue to see a gradual decline in prices and cash ownership will likely increase, but he doesn’t think third-party financing will never go away. Chris thinks that once people have a simple payback of four years or less, they’ll go toward cash more often.

James Jenal from Run on Sun feels that community solar will be able to shift the paradigm from financiers owning systems to whole communities owning their system. There is some policy work that needs to happen to make community solar a more viable reality, but James said that community solar has many benefits. The home is unaffected, there are none of the risks of owning a system, and you can buy exactly how much power you need, whether it’s 1.4 kilowatts or 11 kilowatts, depending on your needs and the amount of cash that you have.

Elliot Gansner of Sologico, formerly pvXchange, a marketplace for installers to purchase equipment, had some good insights into the cost changes within the industry. When asked when he thinks solar will be so cheap that financiers will no longer be needed, he said, “I hope we get there soon. All the trends are pointing that way.” He went on to say that the comparison to the German market cost structure is unfair because they are two very different markets. However, he said that equipment costs delivered to the job are getting down to $1.00 per watt for the modules, inverters, and racking.

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