Solar is rapidly growing beyond California. As described in the Men’s Journal article “Why Now Is the Time To Go Solar,” this growth is being driven by the availability of inexpensive panels, tax breaks, and options to lease or buy PV systems.
While a recent California Solar Initiative (CSI) report highlighted the growth of PV in California, this SEIA infographic illustrates how growth is also extending outside of California. Some interesting stats:
- 3.3 GW of solar capacity was installed in 2012, a 76% increase over 2011’s total.
- When it comes to solar per capita, Arizona (167 watts per person), Nevada (146) and Hawaii (137) lead the pack. California comes in at number six on this list.
- Maryland tops the list of states with the greatest price declines from 2011 to 2012, with a 33% decline. Massachusetts (29%) and Oregon (26%) aren’t far behind.
As the Men’s Journal article highlights, the financials of solar are not equal for everyone. The financial payback of a solar investment is dependent on a variety of factors:
- Solar resource available at a particular location
- Local electricity rates and energy consumption behavior
- Local, state, and national rebates and tax credits
- Available financing methods
Calculating the financials of a particular project isn’t as simple as it would seem, as all these variables must be taken into account. Clean Power Research realized early on that one way to help increase solar adoption was to make it easy for potential solar customers to get accurate, personalized financial information quickly.
That was the genesis of Clean Power Estimator®, the first commercially available online solar quoting tool. Introduced 15 years ago, Clean Power Estimator is used by the leading panel manufacturers, state energy agencies and utilities to give those interested in solar a simple online tool to quickly evaluate the financial impact of solar for their unique situation.
In addition, the Clean Power Estimator API is used by many of the nationwide networks of third-party owners to power their quoting software. The Clean Power Estimator API is unique in that it draws on detailed datasets and analytics to provide:
- Nationwide coverage of utility rates and incentives
- Production estimates using leading sources of solar resource data
- A variety of financing methods including lease, PPA, loan and cash sales
With the solar industry projected to grow 30% in 2013, and with the continued focus on soft cost reduction, tools that make it easy to provide purchasers with the detailed information they need to make smart decisions are needed now more than ever. As the industry evolves, we are focused on supporting our clients with comprehensive, reliable software services that provide the financial information they and their customers can trust.