Accelerating the growth of solar photovoltaic deployment with peer to peer financing
40th ASES National Solar Conference 2011, SOLAR 2011
Solar photovoltaic (PV) technology is a means of increasing energy security whilst reducing the negative externalities of fossil fuel dependence. Programs, such as feed-in-tariffs (FITs) implemented in many countries for on-grid PV, provide economic incentives for investment. On the other hand, off-grid PV systems reduce energy poverty and increase both entrepreneurial productivity and return in rural isolated areas. Despite these social and economic justifications, there is still limited access to capital and appropriate financing mechanisms for the upfront cost, resulting in the slow uptake of solar PV under government programs, especially for poorer individuals. Peer-to-peer (P2P) lending networks represent an abundant untapped financial resource for accelerating the deployment of PV technology. This paper considers an innovative P2P lending framework for A) financing solar PV on-grid under a FIT program and B) off-grid for a small business, whilst distributing both the environmental and economic advantages throughout the entire population. The requirements and limitations of the proposed funding mechanisms are analyzed and conclusions are drawn. Copyright © (2011) by the American Solar Energy Society.