Solar can participate in both retail (generation for on-site use that offsets an energy customer’s electricity purchases) and wholesale (generation for sale to utilities) markets. To help inform policy choices, we’ve released a BETA version of a model that helps analyze the incentives necessary to deliver the same customer economics under three different policy scenarios: upfront incentives, performance-based incentives, and a feed-in tariff.
Note that with upfront and performance-based incentives, a customer generates electricity for on-site consumption, the primary value of the solar system comes from reduced utility bills, and the incentive helps make the investment more attractive. Under a feed-in tariff, generation is sold to the utility at a fixed price over a fixed contract term, and the customer buys electricity from the utility to serve on-site load.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS: This model was built by Crossborder Energy for the Vote Solar Initiative. It is in BETA form, and should not be considered authoritative. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to provide constructive feedback. If the model proves helpful, please credit Vote Solar. All suboptimal outcomes are your responsibility alone. It may only be used in the spirit of good-faith partnership, with the goal of building sustainable markets to bring solar into the mainstream. Downloading and/or using the model confirms your assent to these conditions.
Model instructions (pdf) here.
Model (Excel spreadsheet) here.