The Value of Transparency in Distributed Solar PV Markets

Eric OShaughnessy, Robert Margolis

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


Distributed solar photovoltaic (PV) markets are relatively non-transparent: PV price and product information is not readily available, searching for this information is costly (in terms of time and effort), and customers are mostly unfamiliar with the new technology. Quote aggregation, where third-party companies collect PV quotes on behalf of customers, may be one way to increase PV market transparency. In this paper, quote aggregation data are analyzed to study the value of transparency for distributed solar PV markets. The results suggest that easier access to more quotes results in lower prices. We find that installers tend to offer lower prices in more competitive market environments. We supplement the empirical analysis with key findings from interviews of residential PV installers.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages34
StatePublished - 2017

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-6A20-70095


  • competition
  • market transparency
  • solar


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