Additional Value of Rooftop Solar

The next few years hold many challenges for the energy sector in Israel, including the need to meet the Government’s mandated targets. Israel has committed to generate at least 10% of its electricity from renewable energy by 2020 and 17% by 2030. Specifically, by 2020, Israel needs to install between 1,500 to 2,000 megawatts of solar energy, significantly more than the total capacity that was installed during the past five years. So far, most of the solar was installed on ground – solar fields. However, to achieve the government’s targets, Israel won’t be able to focus only on solar fields, as only the process for getting approval to use the land may take years. In addition, connecting the solar fields to the electricity grid is quite expensive and a long process by itself. In contrast to solar fields, solar panels on rooftops don’t require any land and are easy to install. Thus, rooftop panels can play a major rule for achieving the governments goals.

The challenge, however, in installing panels on top of roofs is their cost – the installation of rooftop panels (mainly small systems) costs more on average than the installation of solar fields. Thus, without the right incentives, expanding the installation of rooftop panels may take too long. In this paper, we examine whether rooftop solar provides additional value in comparison to solar fields, and if so how do we prioritize it. We have examined the major benefits of rooftop solar, and quantified their monetary value in terms of kilowatt hour (kWh). The estimated value is 4.3 Israeli cents per kWh.

Since the estimated value is the savings from installing solar on top of roofs (in place of solar fields) and their contribution to the economy and society, we propose several methods to incentivize the installation of rooftop solar.

Lastly, we describe the current regulatory barriers that must be removed, for allowing a competitive and transparent market.


Alexander Kleiner
A 2016-2017 fellow, Kleiner interns at the Ministry of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources, where he promotes the implementation and integration of renewable energy sources. While pursuing his graduate degree, Kleiner worked as a Research Assistant and as a Teaching...
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