According to a report by GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), 2016 was the strongest year on record for solar energy development. GTM Research is a market analysis and advisory firm that specializes in the global electricity industry.
According to the two organizations, 2016 saw a 95 percent increase in new solar installation from 2015. Rooftop and field panels accounted for 39 percent of the new installations, and residential solar panel installations increased 19 percent. Overall, solar developers installed a record high 14.6 gigawatts which makes photovoltaic panels the largest source of new electric capacity for the first time, according to a report from Bloomberg Markets.
SEIA’s president and CEO, Abigail Ross Hopper, said:
“What these numbers tell you is that the solar industry is a force to be reckoned with…Solar’s economically-winning hand is generating strong growth across all market segments nationwide, leading to more than 260,000 Americans now employed in solar.”
The SEIA will release its U.S. Solar Market Insight 2016 Year in Review on March 9th. This report will shed more light on the condition of the solar industry and the prospects for 2017.
While 2016 did indicate an increasing adaptation of solar energy, the numbers may be inflated by the federal tax credit. According to a report by OilPrice.com, about three-quarters of solar energy installations came from utility-scale solar projects, and many of these were driven by the expectation that the solar tax credit was to expire in 2016. The tax credit has since been extended through 2019, but 2017 may not see the same rush of solar installations that 2016 did.
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