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Comparative economic analysis of supporting policies for residential solar PV in the United States: Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC) potential

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  • Burns, John Edward
  • Kang, Jin-Su

Abstract

Numerous studies and market reports suggest that the solar photovoltaic markets rely heavily, if not entirely, upon governmental support policies at present. Unlike in other countries where these policies are enacted at a national level, the 50 states in the US pursue different policies in an attempt to foster the growth of renewable energy, and specifically solar photovoltaics. This paper provides an economic and financial analysis of the US federal and state level policies in states with solar-targeted policies that have Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SREC) markets. After putting a value on SRECs, this study further compares solar carve-outs with other incentives including the federal tax credit, net metering, and state personal tax credits. Our findings show that SREC markets can certainly be strong, with New Jersey, Delaware, and Massachusetts having the most potential. Despite their strong potential as effective renewable policies, the lack of a guaranteed minimum and the uncertainty attached are major drawbacks of SREC markets. However, the leveraging of this high value offers hope that the policies will indeed stimulate residential solar photovoltaic markets.

Suggested Citation

  • Burns, John Edward & Kang, Jin-Su, 2012. "Comparative economic analysis of supporting policies for residential solar PV in the United States: Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC) potential," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 217-225.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:44:y:2012:i:c:p:217-225
    DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2012.01.045
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    References listed on IDEAS

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