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Creators/Authors contains: "Dong, C. G."
  1. The deployment of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems has grown rapidly over the last decade, partly because of various government incentives. In the United States, among the largest and longest-running incentives have been those established in California. Building on past research, this report addresses the still-unanswered question: to what degree have the direct PV incentives in California been passed through from installers to consumers? This report helps address this question by carefully examining the residential PV market in California (excluding a certain class of third-party-owned PV systems) and applying both a structural-modeling approach and a reduced-form regression analysis to estimate themore » incentive pass-through rate. The results suggest an average pass-through rate of direct incentives of nearly 100%, though with regional differences among California counties. While these results could have multiple explanations, they suggest a relatively competitive market and well-functioning subsidy program. Further analysis is required to determine whether similar results broadly apply to other states, to other customer segments, to all third-party-owned PV systems, or to all forms of financial incentives for solar (considering not only direct state subsidies, but also utility electric bill savings and federal tax incentives).« less
  2. Solar photovoltaic (PV) system prices in the United States display considerable heterogeneity both across geographic locations and within a given location. Such heterogeneity may arise due to state and federal policies, differences in market structure, and other factors that influence demand and costs. This paper examines the relative importance of such factors on equilibrium solar PV system prices in the United States using a detailed dataset of roughly 100,000 recent residential and small commercial installations. As expected, we find that PV system prices differ based on characteristics of the systems. More interestingly, we find evidence suggesting that search costs andmore » imperfect competition affect solar PV pricing. Installer density substantially lowers prices, while regions with relatively generous financial incentives for solar PV are associated with higher prices.« less
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