The promise of solar power has long seemed just out of reach for the average homeowner, but the barriers to adoption of solar energy — upfront cost and uncertainty — are being overcome through a financial innovation known as solar leasing. This model was initially created for the commercial solar market, in order to accelerate the growth of solar installations on commercial buildings. The success of the solar leasing model in the commercial market soon transformed the residential solar landscape as well. The solar leasing model has dramatically changed the US solar market in just five years — residential solar installations have grown over eleven-fold, and 70% of residential solar installations of three of the largest US solar markets (California, Arizona, and Colorado) now use the solar leasing model. Internationally, variants of the solar leasing model are driving similar growth rates in solar adoption in East Africa and Australia.
Renewable Energy Finance: Powering the Future, edited by
World Scientific Publishing, 2015.