TPO's are highly reliant on three critical factors:
- Utility retail electricity rates and the premise that electricity rates will rise each year
- Federal and state investment tax credits
- Barriers to entry which reduces competition
The MIT Future of Solar Energy report succinctly touches on these factors:
Third-party owners [TPO] of PV systems generally need to operate on a large scale to realize the value of these provisions [investment tax credits], which creates a barrier to entry. In addition, because there is generally little price competition between third-party installers, PV developers often are not competing with one another to gain residential customers, but with the rates charged by the local electric distribution company.Getting to 100% renewables is aspirational and a huge technical and economic challenge as the grid becomes more saturated with intermittent resources like solar and wind. We can get there through smart and cost-effective investments on both the customer side and utility side of the grid, not greenwashing and hyperbole to protect the self-interest of a business model not based in rational economics.