As a record year for solar draws to a close, the expectations for the solar industry in 2016 are even higher.
A total of 7.4 gigawatts of solar power capacity was installed in 2015.* This record breaking amount of solar is only the beginning. It is expected that the U.S. will see a substantial 100 gigawatts of solar added by 2020.
As far as 2016 is concerned, we have much to look forward to.
First of all, the significance of the tax credit being renewed for years to come can not be understated. This is a massive boon to the industry and those looking to save as much as possible with their solar investment. While solar is cost effective in many cities without the tax credit, it makes the decision to go solar easier for many where the comparative costs of different electricity sources are closer.
Major solar companies will look to decrease their cost of solar panel installation. The smaller solar companies are already offering very affordable prices due to their much more reasonable install rates. There isn’t nearly as much room for savings in the costs of the panels themselves. So, again, look for potential reductions in install prices.
While the most solar savings are available to homeowners, renters and others can look forward to more access to community solar programs. These programs allow even more people to make a difference by going solar and save a bit of money at the same time.
An even greater availability for solar financing will most likely take place next year as well. The PACE Program – Property Assessed Clean Energy – will likely be offered in more states across the country. This attractive clean energy and home energy efficiency financing program helps homeowners go solar through an increase in property taxes.
More public utility commissions will decide in favor of homeowners concerning net metering disputes. If homeowners are allowed to install solar panels on their roofs, they should also receive fair compensation for the excess power these systems produce. It’s that simple. The emerging distributed energy industry should benefit from free enterprise, like every other industry in this country. Net metering will be supported because decreasing or eliminating it will be seen as an attempt at an industry to retain its monopolistic structure. Solar will be given its fair chance to compete.
The pace of solar installations will increase as more homeowners discover how much they can save with solar power. 2016 will be the year that we will see this amazing rate – 1 system every minute. A solar panel installation every minute will be a truly astonishing milestone.
So here’s to an amazing 2016 for the solar power industry!
*Information gathered from seia.org.