An excellent interactive chart was put out by the ILSR after they analysed the coming of cost-competitive solar electricity with retail electricity prices of all 3100 utilities in the United States. (ILSR Solar Parity Map)
Some of the key findings in the report are:
- Falling solar costs will result in 33,000 MW of unsubsidized commercial rooftop solar achieving price parity by 2016, enough to meet 2.7% of commercial electricity demand.
- Falling solar costs mean 122,000 MW of unsubsidized commercial rooftop solar will be at price parity by 2022, enough to meet 10% of commercial electricity demand.
- Although commercial solar is growing faster, unsubsidized residential solar has a significantly larger parity potential (190,000 MW by 2022, compared to 122,000 MW for commercial solar).
- Together, unsubsidized residential and commercial solar at price parity could provide 9% of total U.S. electricity by 2022.
- As the economic barrier shatters, other barriers to rooftop solar emerge: archaic utility rules (e.g. the 15% Rule), net metering caps, limits of local permitting offices, and a dearth of state virtual net metering policies.
For example, the chart shows the parity potential for residential and commercial solar power by year. For example, in 2016 when the installed cost of solar will approach $3 per Watt, there’s a potential to install 75,000 MW of residential solar and 33,000 MW of commercial.