Are We at the Solar Tipping Point?

Getting to the solar tipping point

At a recent EcoTuesday gathering in San Francisco, Heather Kernahan of Enphase Energy asked this question. While most in the industry agree that highly publicized setbacks like the failure of Solyndra are growing pains, rather than indications of solar’s demise, not all agree on where we are in relation to the tipping point.

Simplifying the message

Now that price has become less of a barrier for many homeowners, we need to remove other obstacles — notably, people’s perceptions of solar. Some possible solutions:

  • Solar as a service: With solar leases, homeowners avoid the hassles and complexity of installing the systems and can leave any maintenance to someone else.
  • Solar as a consumer technology: With features on systems like remote monitoring, solar is becoming even cooler. People not normally interested in technology can get excited about an iPhone or iPad — let’s do the same for solar.

Solar for the rest of us

That brings us to the 75% or so of us who can’t easily go solar now: renters, condo dwellers in multi-unit buildings, or those with shaded roofs, to name just a few. In some states, people can subscribe to power from a solar garden — an installation in a location other than their own roof. But for now, that’s not available to a lot of us.

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Clean energy analyst, advocate, communicator spreading the good solar word

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Rosana Francescato

Rosana Francescato

Clean energy analyst, advocate, communicator spreading the good solar word

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