The U.S. solar market will grow 119% this year, U.S. Solar Market Insight Report 2015 Year in Review from GTM Research along with the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). Residential and commercial markets will also experience strong growth. The report highlights that the U.S. is nearing its 1 millionth solar installation forecasting 16 GW of solar, which will be installed in 2016, more than doubling 7.3 GW installed in 2015.
“This is a new energy paradigm, and the solar industry officially has a seat at the table with the largest energy producers,” says Rhone Resch, president and CEO at SEIA. “Because of the strong demand for solar energy nationwide, and smart public policies like the ITC and NEM, hundreds of thousands of well-paying solar jobs will be added in the next few years, benefiting both America’s economy and the environment.”
According to the report, there are four key trends that will grow the solar industry in 2016:
Rollout of new community solar programs
New utility-led efforts to enable corporate procurement of off-site solar
Value of rooftop solar
Battery storage integration
Looking ahead to next year, the residential and non-residential PV markets are both expected to grow year over year.
“As the double-digit gigawatt utility PV pipeline is built out in 2016, utility solar is expected to experience a reset in 2017,” says Honeyman, noting that the market will shrink to a still-impressive 10 GW. “But between 2018 and 2020, the extension of the ITC will reboot market growth for utility PV and support continued growth in distributed solar as a growing number of states reach grid parity.”
The federal ITC provides a 30% tax incentive on all solar projects. In December 2015, Congress extended the credit out to 2019 with a stepdown through 2022 and a project completion deadline of 2023 for some projects. By 2021, GTM Research expects the U.S. solar market to surpass a cumulative 100 GW, with an annual install rate of 20 GW or more.