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The Solar Deployment System (SolarDS) model evaluates the potential market penetration of solar photovoltaic (PV) technology. SolarDS examines the market competitiveness of Solar PV technologies from the building user's perspective, considering capital costs, electricity prices, as utility rate structures, incentives, and net-metering policies. SolarDS is a spreadsheet/VBA-based model that simulates the hourly price and performance of PV over 216 locations in the United States to derive a national estimate of the potential PV market from 2005 to 2050.



The Solar Deployment System (SolarDS) model is a bottom-up, market-penetration model that simulates the potential adoption of photovoltaics (PV) on residential and commercial rooftops in the continental United States through 2030. NREL developed SolarDS to examine the market competitiveness of PV based on regional solar resources, capital costs, electricity prices, utility rate structures, and federal and local incentives. This report provides details on the model, which uses the projected financial performance of PV systems to simulate PV adoption for building types and regions then aggregates adoption to state and national levels. The main components of SolarDS include a PV performance simulator, a PV annual revenue calculator, a PV financial performance calculator, a PV market share calculator, and a regional aggregator. The model simulates a variety of installed PV capacity for a range of user-specified input parameters. PV market-penetration levels from 15 to 193 GW by 2030 were simulated in preliminary model runs. SolarDS results are primarily driven by three model assumptions: (1) future PV cost reductions, (2) the maximum PV market share assumed for systems with given financial performance, and (3) PV financing parameters and policy-driven assumptions, such as the possible future cost of carbon emissions.

More Information

Contact Ben Sigrin of the Strategic Energy Analysis Center (SEAC) for more information.


  1.  "SolarDS"