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solar industry current events

Industry News Roundup

April 5, 2016

Solar Industry Current Events

We’ve rounded up the latest news and happenings in the solar industry

The solar industry is growing and changing by the day, and we’ve put together a list of the latest developments to keep you informed.

Solar tax credits to boost U.S. deployment by up to 20 GW

A study conducted by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) shows that the extension of the ITC credit will support a steady growth in U.S. PV deployment. The research group found the ITC extension will be directly responsible for the deployment of an additional 20 GW of solar by 2022. Further, the study found that predicted solar development should remain stable even when examined against a variety of natural gas price possibilities. The study also examined the wind industry, which they predict will be much more sensitive to natural gas pricing. Finally, the U.S. installed 7.3 GW of solar in 2015, and the NREL predicts that there will be 5.77 GW of solar installed in 2016. While these estimates may seem conservative for 2016, the drop is due to the deceleration of the rush that took place to build projects before the original cutoff for the ITC.

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U.S. Solar Market Sets New Record, Installing 7.3 GW of Solar PV in 2015

On March 9, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) released its annual U.S. Solar Market Insight report, giving a detailed analysis of 2015 and predictions for 2016. The SEIA reports that in 2015, solar beat natural gas capacity additions, providing 29% of all new electric generating capacity in the United States. California, North Carolina, Nevada, Massachusetts and New York lead the solar markets, with the nation experiencing a year-over-year growth rate of 17 percent.

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46 States Took Policy Action on Solar in 2015

The solar industry is in a state of profound growth, and this growth can be seen most clearly in the government efforts now ongoing in nearly every state to analyze the potential for integrating solar into local energy portfolios. In the states already implementing solar, the loudest conversations involve net metering. Many of the more publicized changes have to do with net-metering regulation in states such as Nevada, Hawaii and California. Elsewhere, however, the focus is primarily on net metering analysis. Many states are rethinking their solar strategy in light of the publicity on the early adopter states like California and Hawaii. As states move forward, an increasing issue will be policies regarding community solar. Currently, only seven states and the District of Columbia have policies in place.  

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