2016 Was a Banner Year for the Solar Market in the United States

Posted by Author 10 months ago


The United States has experienced a record-breaking year with its solar market nearly doubling the number of installations, compared to 2015, and for the first time making solar power the top source of new electricity generation capacity additions in 2016.


In 2016, 14,626 megawatts of solar panels were installed by the United States market, according to GTM Research’s and the Solar Energy Industries Association’s (SEIA) U.S. Solar Market Insight report, showing a 95 percent increase than the 7,493 MW of 2015.


Moreover, according to the now released National Solar Jobs Census 2016 report, there was a 25 percent increase in the United States’ solar workforce, which is higher than 2015.


“What these numbers tell you is that the solar industry is a force to be reckoned with,” president and CEO of the SEIA Abigail Ross Hopper said. “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.”


Led by the utility-scale solar segment, the United States’ record-breaking effort on solar panel installations experienced 145 percent growth starting 2015. The massive growth was also credited to projects that are against the extension of the federal Investment Tax Credit and the competence of solar PV compared to natural gas alternatives.


"In a banner year for U.S. solar, a record 22 states each added more than 100 megawatts," said Cory Honeyman, GTM Research's associate director of U.S. solar research. "While U.S. solar grew across all segments, what stands out is the double digit gigawatt boom in utility-scale solar, primarily due to solar's cost competitiveness with natural gas alternatives."


There is also a notable significance for last year, marking 2016 as the first year for non-residential installation growth to be higher than residential solar growth since 2011. Even though this is the case, the residential segment still contributed a 19 percent increase in growth, which is a respectable 2,583 MW of capacity installed.


Furthermore, community solar energy also contributed more than 200 MW capacity, making 2016 its banner year. A new capacity addition of 39 percent has been represented by solar PV on fuel types available with a capacity more than 100 megawatts. Across the United States, there are more than 1.3 million solar power installations that have cumulative capacity are already installed.


The United States has experienced a record-breaking year with the increase in the growth of solar panel installations in the country and having solar energy as the top source of new electricity generation capacity additions, thus the advantages of solar panels are being showcased to the world. With this, solar outsourcing services must be able to produce competent employees who are able to accommodate the influx of interested customers in both residential and commercial.