Skip to content Skip to navigation

Accelerating Residential PV Expansion: Demand Analysis for Competitive Electricity Markets

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Number 15 (2005)



Photovoltaic (PV) technology is now sufficiently advanced that market support mechanisms such as net metering plus a renewable portfolio standard (RPS) could induce rapid PV market growth in grid-connected applications. With such support mechanisms, markets would be sufficiently large that manufacturers could profitably build and operate 100 MWp/yr PV module factories, and electricity costs for residential rooftop PV systems would compare favorably with residential electricity prices in certain areas (e.g., California and the greater New York region in the US). This prospect is illustrated by economic and market analyses for one promising technology (amorphous silicon thin-film PV) from the perspectives of both module manufacturers and buyers of new homes with rooftop PV systems. With public policies that reflect the distributed and environmental benefits offered by PVand that can sustain domestic PV market demand growth at three times the historical growth rate for a period of the order of two decadesPV could provide 3% of total US electricity supply by 2025.