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Later this month, Alberta will launch a new incentive program to support customer-sited solar PV in the residential and commercial sectors. Designed by the Dunsky team and managed by Energy Efficiency Alberta, the program is expected to grow solar adoption seven-fold over an initial two-year period.

Dunsky’s Solar Adoption Model (affectionately nicknamed SAM) was critical in defining the program’s parameters. We used SAM to forecast baseline adoption (with no program support) over the coming decade, with inputs and model calibration parameters specific to the Alberta market. We then tested multiple incentive levels and structures, as well as other program parameters against a series of potential market conditions to identify the appropriate program design. These sensitivity analyses strengthen our understanding of potential outcomes and risks, enabling a more robust program design. Consultations with local industry players and Dunsky’s own solar program experience and insight rounded out this data-driven analysis.

The final result is a program designed to significantly accelerate solar adoption, while minimizing risks that have afflicted other programs, including free ridership, overpayments and boom-and-bust cycles.

The new program is expected to invest $36 million over the next 24 months in solar incentives. By investing in a sophisticated, location-specific, data-driven modelling and design process, Alberta can expect a higher return on its solar investment. It is also minimizing the risk of unwanted surprises, as the dynamic solar market continues to evolve.

Philippe Dunsky recently did a presentation on this program at the Canadian Solar Industry Association (CanSIA) Solar West Conference in Edmonton. Click here to view his presentation.

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