PV Peer Network

Clean Energy Group (CEG) and the Council of State Governments (CSG) have joined in a cooperative effort to assist state leaders to evaluate and adopt the most innovative state solar practices and policies from across the country. As part of this effort, we have developed the PV Peer Network as a forum for state leaders to share information and ideas, ask questions about state solar programs and policies, highlight state solar program developments and reports, and announce upcoming solar events.     

Network members are able to receive information from the PV Peer Network list serve members and send relevant information to members of this group.

If you would like to participate in this network of state policy makers, please let us know by sending your contact information and email address to Maria@cleanegroup.org.   Please note: Clean Energy Group is available to provide pro bono assistance to states interested in evaluating policies, programs, and activities to advance solar markets. Please contact Mark Sinclair or Maria Blais for assistance in developing effective state solar programs.      

 Recent Events

June 25, 2010 - “Solar ABCs Policy Recommendations”
CESA Members Update and PV Peer Network Webinar
This monthly Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA) update WEBINAR will feature the Solar America Board for Codes and Standards (Solar ABCs) new policy recommendations addressing the use of qualification and reliability standards for photovoltaic (PV) modules. Currently, there is no qualification or reliability testing required for PV modules in the U.S. marketplace, which, as a result, may be flooded with lower-quality PV modules. The Solar ABCs’ recommendations set a minimum standard that will restrict poorer-quality PV modules from being sold in the U.S. marketplace.Presenting will be Dr. (Mani) Govindasamy TamizhMani , president of TUV Rheinland Photovoltaic Testing Laboratory and a professor in the Department of Electronics Systems at Arizona State University.   

Webinar Recording (Windows Media Player)

Presentation (pdf) by Dr. (Mani) Govindasamy TamizhMani, president of TUV Rheinland Photovoltaic Testing Laboratory and a professor in the Department of Electronics Systems at Arizona State University. 

 Solar ABCs Recommendation: Recommended Standards for PV Modules and Systems, January 2010 (pdf)   

 FAILURE ANALYSIS OF MODULE DESIGN QUALIFICATION TESTING – III: 1997-2005 vs. 2005-2007 vs. 2007-2009, by G. TamizhMani, B. Li, T. Arends, J. Kuitche, B. Raghuraman, W. Shisler, K. Farnsworth, A. Voropayev and D. Parker TUV Rheinland PTL, LLC. Tempe, Arizona, United States. June 2010. (pdf)     

March 30, 2010 – “Renewable Energy Finance and Policy Toolkit”
Clean Energy Group and Council of State Governments Webcast 
State clean energy funds and programs have a variety of financing tools at their disposal to support distributed renewable energy deployment.  Historically, states have relied heavily on rebates and other forms of direct project assistance.  However, states are increasingly looking for ways to leverage available dollars.  This webinar will review the Renewable Energy Finance Toolkit recently published by Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA).  The toolkit provides an overview of established and emerging financing tools–including their strengths, weaknesses and best practices– which states can use to advance clean energy.        

Charlie Kubert, CESA Project Director and key author of the report, will cover findings from the report and explain how these finance and policy tools can be used as a portfolio of approaches to create the most robust and effective clean energy programs.     

Download the Report
Download the Presentation
File Format: PDF
File Source: Clean Energy States Alliance

November 12, 2009 – “Tracking the Sun II – The Installed Cost of Photovoltaics in the U.S. from 1998-2008.”
PV Peer Network and Clean Energy States Alliance Webinar 
Galen Barbose of LBNL, one of the report’s principal authors, will brief attendees on the key findings from the report.     

The LBNL report provides a comprehensive summary of installed cost trends for grid-connected solar photovoltaic (PV) systems in the United States from 1998 through 2008, updating an earlier report that contained data through 2007. The updated report is based on project-level data from more than 52,000 residential and non-residential PV systems, totaling 566 MW of capacity and representing 71% of all grid-connected PV capacity installed in the U.S. through 2008. These data were provided by 27 PV incentive programs spanning 16 states.     The report finds that average installed costs have declined over time, from $10.8/W in 1998 to $7.5/W in 2008 (in real 2008 dollars per installed watt DC).  Importantly, average costs declined by approximately $0.3/W from 2007 to 2008, following several preceding years (2005-2007) when they remained essentially flat.  The cost reductions from 2007 to 2008 were associated with a decline in module costs, in contrast to earlier years when cost reductions were associated primarily with a decline in non-module costs.      

The report also finds evidence of sizable economies of scale among the PV systems in our sample, significant variation in average installed cost among states, and cost advantages for PV installed in residential new construction relative to the retrofit market.  The report also describes trends in financial incentive levels over time, by customer type and among states, and the associated impact of these trends on the net installed cost of PV for residential and commercial PV system owners after receipt of incentives.      

Melicia Charles of the California Public Utilities Commission and Tim Treadwellof the California Center for Sustainable Energy will also join us to present their recent findings from the California Solar Initiative’s experience with installed cost trends for PV.      

Download the Presentations
File Format: PDF
File Source: Clean Energy States Alliance       

The report can be downloaded here: http://eetd.lbl.gov/ea/emp/re-pubs.html.     

September 22, 2009 – “Smart Solar Marketing Strategies
A new report from Clean Energy Group and SmartPower

Download the report
File Format: PDF
File Source: Clean Energy Group     

Download the presentation
File Format: PDF
File Source: Clean Energy Group      

Lyn Rosoff, Deputy Director of SmartPower and the primary author of the report, will discuss “Smart Solar Marketing Strategies,” a practical guide for any solar program looking to broaden interest and build a stronger base of customers. SmartPower will share its consumer research findings to reveal important market barriers that must be addressed in overcoming customer resistance. By introducing the concept of “think like a retailer,” the report offers a thoughtful way to ensure that all solar program activities are directed at overcoming these barriers, to achieve stronger sales andmore installations. Solar program directors will come away with a step-by-step process of evaluating their own program approach and examples of innovative solar marketing programs from across the country.   

June 2, 2009 – “State Solar Program Initiatives: Recent Developments and New Innovations
A CSG and CEG Webcast.  
This webinar is designed to brief the audience on how states are supporting the development of solar energy projects and markets.  The principal barrier to widespread adoption of solar PV is the high capital cost. Therefore, many public state agencies in the U.S. have established incentive programs to make PV system costs competitive for the customer and to build local solar markets.  In recent years, states have been improving the sophistication of their solar PV support programs by drawing on the lessons learned from the early experience with the first round of solar rebate programs. A panel of leading state solar program managers will discuss the lessons learned and describe how states are revising and crafting new programs to advance solar markets.

Presentations to Download:  

February 20, 2009, PV Peer Network Confernce Call – “PV Cost Trends”   
Briefing on New LBNL Report – TRACKING THE SUN: The Installed Cost of Photovoltaicsin the U.S. from 1998-2007. The purpose of this conference call was to receive an in-depth briefing from LBNL’s Galen Barbose, one of the principal authors of the new report, on the key findings of the analysis.     Installations of photovoltaic systems have been growing at a rapid pace in recent years, driven in large measure by state solar programs and other government incentives.  A key goal of these policies is to encourage cost reductions over time, and out of this goal arises the need for reliable information on the installed cost of PV.  To that end, a new LBNL report summarizes trends in the installed cost of grid-connected PV systems in the United States from 1998 through 2007.  The report is based on an analysis of installed cost data from nearly 37,000 residential and non-residential PV systems, totaling 363 MW of capacity, and representing 76% of all grid-connected PV capacity installed in the U.S. through 2007.     The report focuses on the installed cost born by the customer, and summarizes trends over time, by system characteristics, by customer location, and by component.  It also describes changes in incentive levels over time and the resulting impact on net installed costs.     Here are just a few of the findings from the report:     

  • Average installed costs, in terms of real 2007 dollars per installed watt (DC-STC), declined significantly over this period.
  • The overall decline in installed costs over time is primarily attributable to a reduction in non-module costs. This suggests that state and local deployment programs – which likely have a greater impact on non-module costs than on module prices – have been at least somewhat successful in spurring cost reductions.
  • PV installed costs exhibit significant economies of scale.
  • Installed costs vary widely across states. Variation in average installed cost across states, as well as comparisons with Japan and Germany, suggest that large markets offer lower costs.
  • The new construction market offers cost advantages for residential PV.

Download Audio File for the call 2/20/09 (mp3) 
Download the Report (pdf)
Download the Presentation(pdf)      

September 19, 2008,  PV Peer Network Conference Call: “State Solar Policy Initiatives:  The Connecticut Solar Lease Program”   
Members of the PV Peer Network and CESA participated in a conference call briefing on the Connecticut SolareLeaseProgram. The Connecticut Solar Lease Program, the first of its kindin the nation, is a new initiative designed to eliminate the high initial costs associated with the purchase andinstallation of residential solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. Through the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund (CCEF), a combination of rebates and tax credits can be used to lower the cost of leasing solar systems, helping more residents obtain clean, renewable solar energy. This call will feature a presentation by CCEF on this innovative new program. Presentations to Download (pdf):        

July 11, 2008,  PV Peer Network Conference Call:  “State Solar Policy Initiatives: Recent Developments and Lessons Learned”

Members of the PV Peer Network and CESA are invited to join us Friday, July 11th at 1 PM EDT for a conference on on State innovation in solar programs. As states seek to develop a sustainable solar market, common strategies have emerged to overcome the financial, regulatory, and institutional barriers to solar deployment.  In this session, policy experts will report on the latest and greatest in state initiatives to: include solar in the electricity mix; target high-value solar applications; market solar to the consumer, and drive down solar PV costs. Presentations to Download (pdf):    

April 18, 2008: PV Peer Network Conference Call:  “Briefing on Building Solar PV Local Markets”
Members of the PV Peer Network and CESA are invited to join us on Friday, April 18th at 1 pm ET for a conference call featuring a presentation by Steve Weisman, co-author with Mark Sinclair of a new Clean Energy Group report, “Clean Energy States Program Guide – Mainstreaming Solar Photovoltaic Electricity: Strategies for States to Build Local Markets.” This newly published report recommends specific strategies that states can use to build local markets for solar technologies with focus on:    Sustained financial support for projects 

  • Laws and regulations
  • Smart program design
  • Long-term financing
  • PV friendly building codes
  • Installer support and training
  • Education and marketing

Downloads: Call Presentation (PDF) | Call Audio (mp3)      

March 11, 2008 – IREC Solar Seminar: “State Solar Policy Trends”
IREC call featuring Mark Sinclair, Clean Energy Group. Call presentation:      

February 11, 2008 – CSG-CEG Webcast: “Integrating Clean Energy in State Air Quality and Climate Change Policies and Programs”

CSG webcast featuring Debra Jacobson, Art Diem and Rich Sedano. Call Materials:    

     Download the Audio File (mp3)