SAN FRANCISCO -- Right now, the average California consumer might put 3 kilowatts or more of solar on their house, but the new trend might be toward one and two kilowatts.
Small systems can be financed on a credit card, said Mark Goldman, co-founder of Armageddon Energy, which wants to make modular solar systems for homes, during a presentation at a panel on residential solar sponsored by Greentech Media at Intersolar, which takes place in San Francisco this week.
Danny Kennedy, president of Sungevity, concurred. A substantial portion of the orders Sungevity receives, he added, are under 3 kilowatts. (Sungevity has software for estimating the cost of a solar installation but the company also conducts installations.)
Ideally, these kind of systems could be installed by homeowners themselves or installed by trained technicians at Best Buy or Home Depot, said Barry Cinnamon, CEO of Akeena Solar, which has developed at modular rack called Andalay that contains the solar panels, racking and most of the required electronics in a single package.Ultimately, you could see a bifurcation in the market: semi-custom systems providing 3 or more kilowatts of power installed by professionals and smaller ones installed by semi-pros.
Interestingly, Cinnamon said that Andalaypanels actually sells for a slight premium, when measured on a per-kilowatt basis. Consumers are willing to pay for the convenience of having easier-to-install modular racks. So not everything in solar is based on price.
One last note: Jeff Wolfe, CEO of GroSolar, added, that prices continue to come down. In California, you can get solar on your house for $6 a watt in some situations.