Report Outlines the Mainstreaming of California Solar

A new report, released by Environment California Research & Policy Center, maps out how California can make solar power affordable for the average homeowner and business within ten years. Using an economic model based the theory of “progress ratio” in which industry experience and price are inversely related, the report – Bringing Solar to Scale: What California Can Do to Create a Thriving, Self-Sufficient Residential Solar Market – estimates the upfront cost of solar power could drop to the point where government rebates are no longer needed by 2016.

“The biggest roadblock to solar power becoming as mainstream as McDonald’s is its price tag,” said Bernadette Del Chiaro, Clean Energy Advocate with Environment California Research & Policy Center and co-author of the report. “By driving up demand, California can catapult solar power from the backwoods boutique of the 70s to having its own aisle at Home Depot.” The report also details how developing a thriving, self-sufficient solar power market can have huge benefits for the state – reducing air pollution, protecting consumers from volatile electricity prices, and reducing the need for expensive upgrades to electricity transmission and distribution systems. The report advises that the best way to lower solar power costs is for California to commit to long-term market development through financial incentives and new construction design policies. Experience in California and in other countries, especially Japan, has shown that such government programs can increase demand, lower prices, and ultimately lead to a robust, self-sufficient solar market in which government incentives are no longer needed to drive demand. The report is available for download at the following link:
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