House of the Rising Sun: Why Solar Energy May Power America’s Future

P7 Solar Farm

With the Obama administration’s increased focus on clean energy, and the recent Solyndra loan scandal, solar energy has come into the public purview like never before. Depending on your worldview, solar energy is either a high growth industry that represents a viable alternative to fossil fuels or a massive waste of taxpayer money and venture capital. What will it take to ensure the former comes to fruition?

Continued Cost Cutting
In a commodity business like energy, the spoils go to the victor that can produce the lowest cost product. Shale gas and coal present formidable opponents for solar, which is currently 2-4 times more expensive. In order to be competitive, solar must come down the cost curve in a meaningful way.

There are two ways that solar has, and will continue to, cut costs to end customers. The first is by accepting margin compression, which has been driven by pricing pressure. Solar panels, which account for ~48% of system costs[1], have seen 20% annual price decreases since 2004[2] and are projected to decrease a further 16% annually through 2013[3]. Chinese manufacturers like Trina and Yingli have driven significant pricing pressure, changing the panel market to a low margin-high volume business. This decrease has been so steep that a coalition of US solar manufacturers has recently brought a trade lawsuit against Chinese companies for dumping product on the US market.[4]

The second way to cut costs is through technological innovation, either by reducing costs at current efficiencies, or increasing efficiencies at current or slightly higher costs. Companies like 1366 Technologies have produced innovations in the solar module production process, which have promised a 50% cost reduction[5]. Enphase Energy, a solar microinverter company, has invented a revolutionary power conversion technology that improves the energy harvest of solar systems by 5-25%[6]. These types of continued innovations are critical to solar energy’s success.

Secure Financing
In order to become a ubiquitous resource, solar energy customers will need access to debt finance to take on such projects. Such financing will enable greater access to solar systems for customers, and therefore allow manufacturers to generate enough scale to continue their push down the cost curve.

There are three major segments in the solar market: residential (on the top of your house), commercial (on top of Huntsman or a Wal-Mart) and utility scale (solar farms in the desert). Financing options are plentiful in the residential segment, with companies like SolarCity, Sungevity and Sunrun providing capital and installation for end customers. In the commercial and utility segments, though, capital has been hard to come by.

The solar credit crunch has occurred because commercial and utility scale solar projects require a large amount of capital but do not have a long track record, especially when compared to other loan products (e.g.: home and auto loans). This lack of data makes lenders skittish, as they have less certainty on how to value and therefore less confidence in originating such loans. The consequence is a negative feedback loop, where solar projects cannot gain financing due to a relative lack of historical data on similar loans, and lenders cannot gain the historical data they need to originate such loans because solar projects are not being financed. In this scenario, the DOE loan program has been extremely valuable. By guaranteeing loans on select solar installations, the DOE has enabled banks to extend the necessary credit to get solar systems installed.

Support Through Government Incentives
Unfortunately, government incentives are still necessary to make many solar projects financially attractive. Why is this necessary? On the technology side, solar is not yet cost effective enough to compete with traditional energy on a widespread basis. This does not mean that solar won’t ever get there; in fact, as noted above, solar is making huge strides towards becoming cost competitive with traditional energy resources. From 2004-2010, the cost of a solar system decreased by 56% overall (13% CAGR) and is projected to decrease a further 37% (7% CAGR) by 2016 according to the US Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE).[7] However, without government incentives, solar will not be able to make the sales that will generate the scale to come down the cost curve and achieve these types of reductions.

On the financing side, as discussed before, the solar industry’s short track record has made it difficult for financial institutions to provide credit for commercial and utility solar projects. In the near term, government will provide an important backstop to enable financing for select solar projects. In the medium and long term, as financing becomes more readily available, solar will become more ubiquitous. The resulting economies of scale will enable the industry to come down the cost curve and become a more competitive alternative to coal and natural gas.

[1] National Renewable Energy Laboratory, US Department of Energy. “National PV Cost Values, for: NARUC 7-Member Consortium for PV Resource Characterization”, page 3. December 21, 2009.

[2] First Solar. “Renewable energy: From analysis to action”, presentation by TK Kallenbach, President, Component Business Group, 2010.

[3] The Guardian. “Price of solar panels to drop to $1 by 2013, report forecasts.” June 20, 2011.

[4] Solar Energy Industries Association. “US Solar Market Insight Report, Q3 2011”

[5] 1366 Technologies website. Accessed February 18, 2012.

[6] Enphase Energy website. Accessed February 18, 2012.

[7] John Lushetsky, Program Manager, Solar Energy Technologies Program, Department of Energy

Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. “The Prospect for $1/Watt Electricity from Solar”, August 10, 2010.


  1. Pingback: Kitsap Connection » February 27, 2012

  2. Pingback: The Green Jobs Source for Monday, February 27 « Blue Green Alliance Blog

  3. Pingback: industrial space for rent

  4. Pingback: jual madu penyubur kandungan di jakarta

  5. Pingback: rent an apartment in toronto

  6. Pingback: material design button css

  7. Pingback: Renewable Energy Videos | Green Technology Blog - Green Technology Blog

  8. Pingback: link

  9. Pingback: matcha for cooking

  10. Pingback: buy backlinks

  11. Pingback: budowa

  12. Pingback: tier2

  13. Pingback: tier2 junk

  14. Pingback: reservation hotel pas cher

  15. Pingback: ankara eskort

  16. Pingback: kaltak orospular

  17. Pingback: ankara kahpeleri

  18. Pingback: ccn2785xdnwdc5bwedsj4wsndb

  19. Pingback: ankara escort

  20. Pingback: Solar Cell Jual – Renewable Energy Advice

  21. Pingback: parfum, cosmétique, produits de soins, spécialist de beauté, protection solaire, parfumerie parfum, cosmetica, huidverzorging, beautyspecialist, verzorging, zonnebescherming, parfumerie,

  22. Pingback: Find Out More

  23. Pingback: xcmwnv54ec8tnv5cev5jfdcnv5

  24. Pingback: click

  25. Pingback: seks izle

  26. Pingback: link

  27. Pingback: seks izle

  28. Pingback: orospu cocuguyum

  29. Pingback: mxa4nctaxmznzdt5rtacwfsdffa

  30. Pingback: sekis izle

  31. Pingback: накладки за бмв

  32. Pingback: sekiz izle

  33. Pingback: xmct5895ct4jt3d4yxtjgwj45tc3j

  34. Pingback: anani siktigim

  35. Pingback: 3cm9wy7vf5kcwxjc3ytxk0crtsxergsd

  36. Pingback: x30m85cgcr83n5rwxym8cnrsdfruxm

  37. Pingback: cheap car insurance rates

  38. Pingback: x4cwym845tx4f8w4fw84rffw485fedw

  39. Pingback: ankara

  40. Pingback: carlos jose rios grajales

  41. Pingback: dui attorney berkeley

  42. Pingback: silk wraps

  43. Pingback: commercial cleaning Auckland

  44. Pingback: cat kennels naples fl

  45. Pingback: webcam porno

  46. Pingback: promo code for papa john's

  47. Pingback: tacfit commando

  48. Pingback: a knockout post

  49. Pingback: second hand clothes wholesale

  50. Pingback: geld verdienen als cammodel

  51. Pingback: aile hekimligi malzemeleri

  52. Pingback: guitar picks

  53. Pingback: zasilanie agregatem pradotw�rczym

  54. Pingback: Manifestation Miracle Reviews

  55. Pingback: just click the up coming document

  56. Pingback: Live NBA Online

  57. Pingback: Diabetes Destroyer Reviews

  58. Pingback: quinoa

  59. Pingback: tax grab

  60. Pingback: steroid sale

  61. Pingback: usaa insurance quote

  62. Pingback: Dog

  63. Pingback:

  64. Pingback: Diabetes Destroyer Review

  65. Pingback: Fitness Video

  66. Pingback: Gym Shorts

  67. Pingback: Best buy bulk order smartphone accessories

  68. Pingback: commercial real estate miami

  69. Pingback: Manifestation Miracle Review

  70. Pingback:

  71. Pingback:

  72. Pingback: banheira

  73. Pingback: buy products in bulk

  74. Pingback: lose fat fast

  75. Pingback: Extra resources

  76. Pingback: Agustin Mccook

  77. Pingback: Leaflet printing

  78. Pingback: dr medora clinic

  79. Pingback: valentin's day

  80. Pingback: plumbing repair Allandale

  81. Pingback: paintless dent repair training

  82. Pingback: competitions

  83. Pingback: eague of legends t-shirt shop

  84. Pingback: mobile app development

  85. Pingback: personal injury lawyers in Ottawa

  86. Pingback: orange county appliance repair

  87. Pingback:

  88. Pingback: Federico Simcock


  90. Pingback: Silkscreen

  91. Pingback: mengatasi ejakulasi dini

  92. Pingback: ebay 32 inch tv

  93. Pingback: handicapped transportation

  94. Pingback: comprar seguidores twitter

  95. Pingback: plushies

  96. Pingback: Read This

  97. Pingback: ios ide porn

  98. Pingback: papa john's print coupons

  99. Pingback: toy

  100. Pingback: best restaurant birmingham

  101. Pingback: valentines day gifts for her

  102. Pingback: wedding ring denver

  103. Pingback: digital signage

  104. Pingback: Termite Treatment Perth

  105. Pingback: tattoo machines

  106. Pingback: th8 base layout

  107. Pingback: royalclub

  108. Pingback: Phentermine

  109. Pingback:

  110. Pingback: sacred 3 trainer

  111. Pingback: clint bertucci

  112. Pingback: Best Affiliate Marketing Programs

  113. Pingback: I was reading this

  114. Pingback: coola kläder

  115. Pingback: Steve Hulzing

  116. Pingback: Makeup service Singapore

  117. Pingback: ppc mn

  118. Pingback: hungry shark evolution hack

  119. Pingback: Descargar Mp3

  120. Pingback: movietube

  121. Pingback: Penginapan Murah Di Depok

  122. Pingback: juice cleanse singapore

  123. Pingback: Plumber in Pittsburgh

  124. Pingback: leaflet printing

  125. Pingback: Outdoor Roller Banners

  126. Pingback: drinking water bottle pumps

  127. Pingback: surveillance cameras

  128. Pingback: samsung

  129. Pingback: How to make money online

  130. Pingback: Hilarious

  131. Pingback: iqoptions

  132. Pingback: Microcap Magazine

  133. Pingback: Agen judi Casino 338a Online

  134. Pingback: Realtor BPO REO Real Estate Foreclosure

  135. Pingback: tulsa online marketing

  136. Pingback: acid reflux cure

  137. Pingback: movie2k

  138. Pingback: Self-Help

  139. Pingback: natrol white kidney bean extract phase 2

  140. Pingback: seat in between

  141. Pingback: Tattoo ลายสัก

  142. Pingback: consignment shops richmond va

  143. Pingback: Personal GPS Tracker

  144. Pingback: garcinia cambogia how much to take daily

  145. Pingback: Instantly ageless ingredients

  146. Pingback: how to make money online without spending money

  147. Pingback: HND Assignment help

  148. Pingback: travel insurance for Vietnam

  149. Pingback: Dr Field Harrison

  150. Pingback: Dr Field Harrison

  151. Pingback: Bail Bonds Tulsa

  152. Pingback: clickbank

  153. Pingback: exclusive dating

  154. Pingback: trip expriences

  155. Pingback: weed control tulsa

  156. Pingback: ollas rena ware

  157. Pingback: IT Services Gainesville FL

  158. Pingback: highend romper

  159. Pingback: carper cleaning Spring Hill

  160. Pingback: Line of Oslo

  161. Pingback: accessories for enclosed car trailer

  162. Pingback: cold room doors

  163. Pingback: exclusive dating london

  164. Pingback: real estate brokerage spring hill

  165. Pingback: bathroom scale alarm

  166. Pingback: wahl nose hair trimmer charger

  167. Pingback: chapter 13 attorney hershey

  168. Pingback: gay dating geneva

  169. Pingback: obama dart boards

  170. Pingback: xnxx

  171. Pingback: luli fama romper

  172. Pingback: Zootopia

  173. Pingback: hcg injections

  174. Pingback: games

  175. Pingback: punta cana coco bongo

  176. Pingback: REGALO BODA

  177. Pingback: العاب سيارات

  178. Pingback: SalesEnvy Review

  179. Pingback: Scalping Emini

  180. Pingback: NY

  181. Pingback: party powders

  182. Pingback: cushion engagement ring

  183. Pingback:

  184. Pingback: cerrajeros de elche

  185. Pingback: Scottsdale Website Design

  186. Pingback:

  187. Pingback: Villa Mutiara Carita Cottage

  188. Pingback: Kathy

  189. Pingback:

  190. Pingback: Heavy Construction Equipment

  191. Pingback: Compagnie de menage montreal

  192. Pingback: trademark 6-pocket armrest organizer with table-top

  193. Pingback: help loading uhaul truck

  194. Pingback: film complet

  195. Pingback: have a peek at these guys

  196. Pingback: Get More Information

  197. Pingback: party light font

  198. Pingback: Rubin Hard

  199. Pingback: roast pan potatoes

  200. Pingback: fly swatter electric racket

  201. Pingback: solar related

  202. Pingback: mobile strike hack apk

  203. Pingback: طراحی سایت

  204. Pingback: Entrepreneur

  205. Pingback: starcom mediavest

  206. Pingback: free kik guide

  207. Pingback: the walking dead saison 7 streaming gratuit

  208. Pingback: join netflix free trial

  209. Pingback: gap insurance coverage providers

  210. Pingback: hadoop training

  211. Pingback: HP OfficeJet Pro X551dw Ink Cartridges

  212. Pingback: affärsjurist stockholm

  213. Pingback: duckbill check valve water flood diffuser

  214. Pingback: USA Box Express LLC

  215. Pingback:

  216. Pingback: 24 hour fitness

  217. Pingback: Solar Panels

  218. Pingback: cuff links

  219. Pingback: Wealthy Affiliate review

  220. Pingback:

  221. Pingback: Charity

  222. Pingback: IP Transit

  223. Pingback: elimine la deuda

  224. Pingback: Hotel shah alam

  225. Pingback: Workout Clothes

  226. Pingback: sleep formula natural

  227. Pingback: Micro Stretch Gym Shorts

  228. Pingback: Virtual races

  229. Pingback: dinosaur

  230. Pingback: Gun Store

  231. Pingback: chwil�wki online

  232. Pingback: rsi alert

  233. Pingback: bedavabahisoyna

  234. Pingback: home safes

  235. Pingback: porno

  236. Pingback: Desi Photographer

  237. Pingback: Compagnie de ménage Montréal

  238. Pingback: Florrie

  239. Pingback: latest hollywood gossip

  240. Pingback: san diego real estate

  241. Pingback: InstallShield performance

  242. Pingback: dog walker naples fl

  243. Pingback:

  244. Pingback: crossfit

  245. Pingback: Nashville Wedding Photographers specializes in wedding

  246. Pingback: how to get ex back when you dumped

  247. Pingback: porno

  248. Pingback: porno

  249. Pingback: porno

  250. Pingback: best pet care in naples

  251. Pingback: overnight cat sitter naples fl

  252. Pingback: Drones for sale

  253. Pingback: Tao of Badass

  254. Pingback: most of the time an alpha brain review

  255. Pingback: bioganix pure forskolin extract reviews

  256. Pingback: Cerchio nel grano

  257. Pingback: water damage restoration bee cave

  258. Pingback: jab comix

  259. Pingback: email list

  260. Pingback: sms marketing

  261. Pingback: selbstverteidigung für anfänger

  262. Pingback: Mattress Recycling

  263. Pingback: best pet sitter near naples fl

  264. Pingback: mower repair

  265. Pingback: are raspberry ketones safe

  266. Pingback: neuken

  267. Pingback: beauty

  268. Pingback: Nicholas Sparks love quotes

  269. Pingback: social site

  270. Pingback: voice lessons phoenix

  271. Pingback: clash royale

  272. Pingback: see

  273. Pingback: rocket portuguese

  274. Pingback: best affiliate programs

  275. Pingback: superiorsingingmethod

  276. Pingback: Limo Service�Vancouver BC & Party Limos Bus Vancouver BC

  277. Pingback: my latest blog post

  278. Pingback: free proxy list

  279. Pingback: over at this website

  280. Pingback: porno

  281. Pingback: Private investigator Pretoria

  282. Pingback: candy saga

  283. Pingback: Seattle

  284. Pingback: piano loops

  285. Pingback: previous

  286. Pingback: royalty free samples

  287. Pingback: guitar loops

  288. Pingback: Nimbus

  289. Pingback: ADO

  290. Pingback: kids fail beanboozled gaming funny jellybean

  291. Pingback: life is too short quotes and sayings

  292. Pingback: CT Wedding DJ

  293. Pingback: airport porn

  294. Pingback:

  295. Pingback: The Lost Ways Review

  296. Pingback: Things to Do

  297. Pingback: xxx

  298. Pingback: compress jpg images

  299. Pingback: Shinlone Precision Mould

  300. Pingback: vip prints

  301. Pingback: cute Good Morning Love Quotes For Him Or Her

  302. Pingback:

  303. Pingback: chlamydia informatie

  304. Pingback: TEDx

  305. Pingback: best streetwear brand

  306. Pingback:

  307. Pingback: Obsession Phrases

  308. Pingback:

  309. Pingback: Steve Rahseparian

  310. Pingback: YouTube

  311. Pingback: Joanne

  312. Pingback: City Professional Dentists

  313. Pingback: YouTube

  314. Pingback: Photography

  315. Pingback: make m oney with traffic monsoon

  316. Pingback: Sacramento compounding pharmacy

  317. Pingback: nagrody

  318. Pingback: Buy Isagenix Online

  319. Pingback: Witchcraft Reading group

  320. Pingback: fresh start

  321. Pingback: usa online casinos

  322. Pingback: foro escorts

  323. Pingback: magnet manila

  324. Pingback: hot babe

  325. Pingback: android game cheat apk

  326. Pingback: Smart Drugs Entrepreneurs

  327. Pingback:

  328. Pingback: Best garbage disposal

  329. Pingback: joomla tutorials for beginners 2016

  330. Pingback: Kenya marketplace

  331. Pingback: Off Grid Pure Sine Wave Wind Inverter

  332. Pingback: sportsbook

  333. Pingback: Hack Facebook

  334. Pingback: terkini

  335. Pingback: website development

  336. Pingback:

  337. Pingback: verhuisservice rotterdam

  338. Pingback: pc hjelp

  339. Pingback: Video Agent X Discount

  340. Pingback: funny birthday wishes

  341. Pingback: what is the best home remedy for asthma

  342. Pingback: Ending

  343. Pingback: Top 10 Animales en Peligro de Extinción

  344. Pingback: seo starter package

  345. Pingback: mobile strike gold generator

  346. Pingback: hampton bay ceiling fan

  347. Pingback: exgirlfriendz

  348. Pingback:

  349. Pingback: punta cana real estate

  350. Pingback: teapot kettle tetsubin iron japanese

  351. Pingback: Maria Johnsen

  352. Pingback: SEO ekspert

  353. Pingback: liquor stores near me

  354. Pingback: Maria Johnsen

  355. Pingback: SEO Trondheim

  356. Pingback: trouver artisan avec avis pour devis travaux

  357. Pingback: Blogger

  358. Pingback: Workshop

  359. Pingback: Corbin Maxwell

  360. Pingback: Tess and Trish bracelet

  361. Pingback: check my blog

  362. Pingback: nordstrom coupon

  363. Pingback: legit ways to make money online

  364. Pingback: Sony Reparatur

  365. Pingback: startup company

  366. Pingback: BestPromotionGifts

  367. Pingback: Hongkong Y-ou International Trade

  368. Pingback: Oil Less Fryer

  369. Pingback: water slide for sale

  370. Pingback: a fantastic read

  371. Pingback: whatsapp for pc

  372. Pingback: hack para clash of clans

  373. Pingback: tin nguyen blog

  374. Pingback: Rechnungen erstellen

  375. Pingback: neo2 software

  376. Pingback: Rechnung schreiben

  377. Pingback: follar

  378. Pingback: Tablets

  379. Pingback: love

  380. Pingback: solihull

  381. Pingback: Affiliate Trax Bonus

  382. Pingback: Singapore kid birthday party service

  383. Pingback: vinyl windows

  384. Pingback: Clash of Kings Tips

  385. Pingback: shwe room

  386. Pingback: minimalist

  387. Pingback: How To Get Traffic To Your Website Fast And Easy

  388. Pingback: novinhas

  389. Pingback: how to get paid on YouTube

  390. Pingback: cherry picker rental miami

  391. Pingback: v-allince moving services

  392. Pingback: Love lift life fitness nutrition Health

  393. Pingback: Our Limousine service Vancouver BC office

  394. Pingback: Investition

  395. Pingback: residential painter in Waterbury

  396. Pingback:

  397. Pingback: Barre Chords

  398. Pingback: print vip

  399. Pingback: bandar judi maxbet

  400. Pingback:

  401. Pingback: Coince Testimonials

  402. Pingback: LiveStreamRugby

  403. Pingback: Electrolux UltraActive Bagless Canister

  404. Pingback: vitamin iv therapy in miami fl deck

  405. Pingback: pinoy rooms

  406. Pingback: مواقع العاب حصرية

  407. Pingback: multilingual seo

  408. Pingback: Kurma

  409. Pingback: Mittie

  410. Pingback: fair trade

  411. Pingback: liquid iv ft lauderdale

  412. Pingback: ddoser

  413. Pingback: Lady Remington

  414. Pingback: eb-5 attorney los angeles

  415. Pingback: bath bombs

  416. Pingback: CBD cream

  417. Pingback: ignition change locksmith mesa

  418. Pingback: stretches for sciatica

  419. Pingback: motor club of america scam

  420. Pingback: Free surebets

  421. Pingback: fuck google

  422. Pingback: fuck google

  423. Pingback: fuck google

  424. Pingback:

  425. Pingback: fuck google

  426. Pingback: fuck google

  427. Pingback: pornolar

  428. Pingback: fuck google

  429. Pingback: fuck google

  430. Pingback: porno izle

  431. Pingback: finger family

  432. Pingback: fuck google

  433. Pingback: Send flowers to vietnam

  434. Pingback: porno izle

  435. Pingback: kids animation

  436. Pingback: 他媽的谷歌

  437. Pingback: Photo booths London

  438. Pingback: interexpresscargo iec casillero internacional

  439. Pingback: 他妈的谷歌

  440. Pingback: nursery rhymes