The lack of a consistent methodology for calculating the value of solar energy projects could become a barrier to development as distributed generation becomes more common on residential and commercial buildings, Greentech reports.
“Utilities, investors, and markets are missing out on optimal strategies to price assets, lower costs, and mitigate risks, because they lack a consistent and accurate approach for determining the true value of solar,” ICF International concluded in a recent report.
But setting the value of solar “is a tricky proposition,” Pyper writes. “Factors such as the social benefits of renewable energy and the long-term value of avoided greenhouse gas emissions are difficult to quantify. There are also questions of equitability that need to be addressed, related to who benefits from distributed solar and how solar is treated relative to conventional generation projects.”
According to GTM Research, distributed generation in the U.S. is set to triple, from 1.9 to 5.8 gigawatts, between 2013 and 2018.