Last Wednesday, the New York State Research Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) made details about new financial incentives for solar installations (PON2112) available on its site.
Putting forth a strong commitment to solar energy in the state, NYSERDA is offering the new rebate until December 31, 2015 or until funds are committed, whichever comes first. Much like the rebate (PON1050) that preceded it, the rebate offers $1.75/watt to eligible installers for residential, commercial and not for profit installs. The rebate may fluctuate a bit from month to month based on funding availability. NYSERDA budgets $2,000,000 a month in incentives, which is slightly higher than the monthly average of rebates granted in the first half of 2010. Once the monthly cap is reached, applications for rebates will be pushed to the following month for review.
The caps per install have remained largely the same, but will increase from 5kw to 7kw for residential installs. Commercial installs (50 kw) and not for profits (25kw) are similar to the caps found under PON1050.
As I spoke to fellow installers in the months leading up to PON1050 expiration date of June 30, we were in great anticipation of what NYSERDA would come up with.
With PON2112 stretching well into 2015, I speak for myself when I say that NYSERDA has delivered. Stability in incentives is a critical component of the success of renewable energy. We will know renewable energy will have “made it” when prices decrease to the point where incentives are not needed. With the 30% federal tax credit for renewables set to expire at the end of 2016 and now NYSERDA’s rebate lasting to 2015, I expect the timing to be perfect.
With demand rising globally, especially China’s big moves of late, prices on modules will continue to decline over the coming years. The crossover to a non-incentive world may be 2016. We may have to revisit this prediction in six years.
I actually have a vision of much faster growth and progress toward a non-incentive dependent world and think the possibility exists for us to live in this world well before 2016 – maybe even 2014 – 4/14/2014 – has a nice ring to it.