The Inflation Reduction Act and the future of distributed energy in the state were hot topics at this year’s event in Sarasota.
The Florida Solar and Storage Summit in Sarasota, Florida offered an opportunity for experts across the solar supply chain to discuss how the state can become a top market for solar and storage. Hosted by the Florida Solar Energy Industry Association (FlaSEIA), the conference focused on key policies and best practices as well as opportunities to scale solar throughout the state and beyond.
Concord was pleased to participate in a panel discussion, titled, “How the latest market dynamics impact solar pricing.” Our own Tom Myers, Vice President of Business Development at Concord, discussed how financing has become a core component of solar sales, helping to increase access to residential solar and drive growth across the sector.
Experts on the panel represented four different parts of the solar industry: installers, lenders, supply chain and financial services. All brought a different point of view on solar solutions and the need for strong capital markets in the solar finance space. Key discussion points included the need for flexible terms, lower cost of capital with the lowest cost to consumer, tax incentives, and broad accessibility. In addition, the panel discussed alternatives to traditional lending, such as leases and Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs), which have seen a resurgence in the residential solar market.
While high inflation and increasing interest rates typically lead to decreased borrowing, panelists pointed out that opportunities continue to be strong in solar due to the favorable regulatory climate and the emergence of new investment incentives through the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).
The IRA has been one of the most-discussed topics in renewable energy over the past year. As policymakers continue to release additional guidance, questions about the legislation’s ongoing impact on the solar industry are abundant. In fact, the conference featured two deep-dive sessions on this issue – one focused on commercial, industrial and utility projects, and the other focused on non-profit and government projects. In both areas, the IRA is driving additional opportunities for solar as well as complexities. Key topics included:
- Vertically integrated markets for installers and consumers
- Tax equity and third party-owned systems – PPA/Lease
- Supply chain constraints and access to domestic equipment
- Solar and storage – a complete package to optimize investments
Although the IRA was certainly a hot topic, some of the conference’s buzziest sessions were outside the policy arena entirely. We sat in on an exciting discussion about the future of distributed energy in the state, where panelists pondered the role of virtual power plants, vehicle-to grid (V2G) charging technology and other small-scale energy resources as contributors to the future renewables market. It was a fascinating look at how the industry continues to evolve and gain momentum.
We left Sarasota feeling inspired about the future of solar in Florida and the Southeast. As a top financial partner in this sector, Concord is proud to support the growth of the clean energy movement. We’re excited about the opportunities ahead!