Federal research says California solar mandate could increase housing prices

Going solar

Going solar

The policy provides for a comprehensive framework to promote large grid-connected wind-solar photovoltaic (PV) hybrid system for optional and efficient utilisation of transmission infrastructure and land, thereby reducing the variability in renewable power generation and achieving better grid stability, the ministry of new and renewable energy said in a release.

The move was meant to help cut energy use in new homes by over 50% and is expected to cut greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to taking 115,000 cars off the roads.

At the end of 2017, 16 percent of California's energy came from solar panels.

GTM Research published a new analysis late last week which revealed what it expects to be the upside to this new requirement, specifically, the base-case residential solar PV forecast increased by 14% between 2020 to 2023, which works out to be an increase of about 650 MW. According to the California Energy Commission (CEC), 74,154 new single-family homes would be built in 2020, which could translate into the addition of 222 MW of solar capacity at a size of 3 kW per home for that year.

The minimum amount of solar power required by the new standards wouldn't be enough to meet all the needs of most homes. The move is a bold and visionary one, as stated by an associate at the Energy Commission.

Representatives of the construction, utility and solar industries all helped develop the new standard, and no industry groups spoke in opposition Wednesday.

"That's just going to drive the cost up and make California, once again, not affordable to live", Assemblyman Brian Dahle, the chamber's GOP leader, said Tuesday. Additionally, GTM's new analysis does not apply to multi-family housing units, although GTM typically excludes these from its residential solar forecasts anyway. Some homes that are shaded by trees or taller buildings, or have roofs that are too small for panels, would be eligible for exceptions.

According to the Turkish branch of the Solar Energy Society (GÜNDER), Turkey holds the potential to increase its now installed solar power capacity by a further 46,000 megawatts on roof space covering 1.1 billion square meters.

California is already the nation's No. 1 market for solar installation.