Extensive Solar Cost-Benefit Studies Now Highlighted on SEIA Website

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As a way to quickly access extensive research on the value of solar and renewable energy – from economic and environmental benefits to both consumers and businesses, to grid efficiencies and savings – the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) has created a new resources page on its website.

As a way to quickly access extensive research on the value of solar and renewable energy – from economic and environmental benefits to both consumers and businesses, to grid efficiencies and savings – the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) has created a new resources page on its website.

To date, solar and renewable energy cost-benefit studies have been conducted in nearly 20 states. Most recently, Environment America and the Frontier Group released a new report detailing the benefits of solar, including:

  •     Avoided and reduced energy costs: Solar energy systems produce clean, renewable electricity on-site, reducing the amount of electricity utilities must generate, or purchase, from fossil fuel-fired power plants; by reducing demand for energy from the grid, solar PV systems reduce energy market prices, saving money for all ratepayers; and finally, solar customers deliver valuable power to the grid during high-priced peak demand periods, but mostly take power from the grid during lower-priced, off-peak periods (i.e. at night).
  •     Avoided capital and capacity investment: By reducing overall demand for electricity, solar energy production helps ratepayers and utilities avoid the cost of investing in new power plants, transmission lines and other forms of electricity infrastructure.
  •     Avoided transmission losses: Distributed solar PV systems reduce the amount of energy lost in generation, long-distance transmission and distribution. These losses, which can amount to up to 6 percent of power generated before it is delivered to consumers, cost the country millions of dollars every year.
  •     Reduced financial risks: Because the price of solar energy tends to be stable over time, while the price of fossil fuels can fluctuate sharply, integrating more solar energy into the grid reduces consumers’ exposure to volatile fossil fuel prices.

“In study after study, solar is shown to save money for consumers and provide important benefits to the electrical grid,” said SEIA President and CEO Rhone Resch. “Without question, effective net energy metering (NEM) policies are helping to drive the growth of residential and commercial solar, pumping billions of dollars a year into our economy. These studies are a ‘must read’ for anyone interested in the benefits of solar.”

Because of successful policies such as NEM, the solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) and Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS), solar continues to be the fastest-growing source of renewable energy in America. Today, 174,000 workers are employed in the U.S. solar industry at more than 8,000 companies nationwide.

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