Government Lab Seeks A Way to Boost Solar Loans
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory has convened a banking group whose aim is to make financing more available for homeowners
Both homeowners and bankers could benefit from an initiative at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory aimed at lowering barriers to more loans for rooftop photovoltaic(PV) Generation of electricity directly from sunlight. A photovoltaic cell has no moving parts; electrons are energized by sunlight and result in current flow. (PVPhotovoltaics. Generation of electricity directly from sunlight. A photovoltaic (PV) cell has no moving parts; electrons are energized by sunlight and result in current flow.) installations.
NREL's "Banking on Solar" program brings together more than 50 financial, energy, and research interests to discuss ways of making it easier for homeowners and businesses to borrow money to install solar systems.
While lenders are beginning to offer loan products, NREL said in a news release, some barriers remain.
"There are many states where third-party finance is unavailable and there are solar customers who may prefer to own their own systems over leasing them," NREL analyst Travis Lowder said. "A greater prevalence and diversity of loan products could enable higher rates of solar adoption in these markets."
The group is developing standardized loan documents in residential and commercial markets and educating banks and regulators about the solar market. The idea is to show banks how they can diversity their assets and "invest in a market with high growth potential."
NREL said Banking on Solar would host several webinars in the next couple of months so banks could learn more about solar. Group members also plan on attending upcoming banking conferences.
- Martin Holladay