Wednesday, March 11, 2015

US solar energy industry set for bright future

US solar energy industry has been rapidly growing in the last decade or so. US solar power capacity grew by more than 30% in 2014 as compared to 2013, with 6.2 gigawatts of new solar power capacity.

The rapid growth of solar power capacity in United States is not just because Americans are interested lot more in clean energy sources but also because of favorable 33 percent investment tax credit. However, this tax credit is set to expire at the end of 2016 meaning that the developers and consumers will have to share the burden of solar power costs.

The only downward trend in US solar energy industry in 2014 was the installation of non-residential solar panels, which represented decline of 6 % in comparison to 2013. This is mainly because financing small commercial solar installation comes with difficulties in what is a tight economy.

Energy analysts expect yet another over 30% increase in new solar power installations in 2015. In foreseeable future lot of it will depend on the status of state renewable portfolio standards and how much will utilities have to produce or acquire a percentage of their power sales from clean energy resources.

The future growth is also expected because of the falling solar panel prices. This trend is expected to continue in years to come not just because of the rapidly growing market with more competitors but also because of technological advancements in solar panel production.

The number of competitors in US solar energy market continues to grow and so does the value of market. It was estimated that the value of US solar energy market grew from around $3 billion in 2009 to over $13 billion in 2014.

Solar accounted for 32% of the US new generating capacity in 2014, meaning that new solar installations toppled wind and coal installations.