This year, we've seen several analysts discussing how to value distributed solar energy, which is not included in utility-scale solar energy valuations. In Jim Pierbon's post on Energy Collective, "Valuing Solar Energy: Two Models to Use," the two models for valuing solar energy are ICF International's model on "the true value of solar" and AEE's Benefit-Cost Analysis for Distributed Energy Resources.
Lisa Frantzis, Senior Vice President, Strategy and Corporate Development at the Advanced Energy Economy, said, "While the ICF white paper attempts to present a balanced approach to valuing solar it appears to dismiss a few important factors like environmental benefits apart from CO2, such as other pollutants associated with fossil fuel power generation and grid support services, which may be limited today but are certainly part of solar's potential value.
"Certainly all value of solar assessments are ‘works in progress’, added Frantzis. “The ICF recommendation to review annually is a good idea - especially as utilities and industry develop new ways to integrate distributed solar and get more value from it. For instance, as more energy storage (both consumer and utility-owned) comes online, VOS (value of solar) methodologies will change dramatically.”