At $10/watt installers were artistes in a niche market. At $5/watt installers were finance experts and the market started to boom. At $2/watt how will installers and manufacturers make money — not to mention utilities? Lower installed prices are terrific from a customer standpoint, but these low prices have historically led to failures among companies at the bleeding edge. Is it possible for companies to be profitable in the solar supply chain? And what role will there be for conventional utilities when rooftop power can be generated at less than $0.05/kwh?
Barry Cinnamon heads up Cinnamon Solar (a San Jose residential C-46 solar contractor) and Spice Solar (supplier of Built-In solar racking technology). After 10,000 installations at Akeena and Westinghouse Solar, he’s developed a pretty good perspective on the real-world economics of rooftop solar – and continues to work passionately towards better rooftop solar public policies (such as net metering and incentives), as well as new technologies. His rooftop tinkering led to the development of integrated racking (2007), AC solar modules (2009), and Spice Solar (the fastest way to install rooftop solar modules). He is a former president of CALSEIA, a Board Alternate at SEIA, and host of the Energy Show, which is aired weekly on KDOW Radio and Renewable Energy World podcasts.