Author:  US  DOE NREL Staff     Published: 3/20/2024  National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL)

A recent study authored by researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) and the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) supporting Solar Energy Innovation Network (SEIN) Round 3 multi-stakeholder teams dove into a potential causal relationships between rates of commercial and residential solar installations, finding that there are interesting links in solar adoption behaviors and decision-making between these two market groups.

Solar analysts found a quantifiable and persistent increase in residential solar adoptions in proximity to nonresidential solar installations. Then they studied the type of nonresidential building (commercial, government, or houses of worship) to see if that changed the amount of measurable influence on nearby residential adoptions. Findings show that each commercial installation influences around 0.06 residential installations per quarter, each government and school installation influences around 0.3 installations per quarter, and each house-of-worship installation influences around 1.2 installations per quarter.

The study suggests that nonresidential solar installations can successfully serve as partners in policies to “seed” local residential adoption.

Learn more in the blog post on this study quantifying effects of commercial-scale installations on residential solar adoption from NREL researchers Isa Ferrall-Wolf and Kamyria Coney.

Stay tuned for more highlights about SEIN publications! Bookmark the SEIN Research blog for more stories about projects, findings, and teams.

SEIN was also recently featured in an NREL news story about energy equity in solar adoption: Making Solar Work for Everybody.

Please contact Kamyria Coney or Sara Farrar with any questions about the Solar Energy Innovation Network.

This research is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office, which supports early-stage research and development in three technology areas: photovoltaics, concentrating solar-thermal power, and systems integration with the goal of improving the affordability, reliability, and domestic benefit of solar technologies on the grid. Learn more: