Solar Outlook 2015:
As journalists we tend to be on high alert for danger signs.
Still Growing, but No
Longer Energy’s Young Kid
Te question for 2015 is not IF the booming solar PV market will
grow but just how much more marketshare it can gain.
ELISA WOOD, Contributing Editor
Based on what we write, readers might be under the impres-
sion that trouble is brewing for solar. Florida killed its rebate!
Wisconsin is taxing solar! The federal investment tax credit
Truth be told, 2015 is shaping up to be a very, very good year
for the solar industry in the United States. Yes, a few states are
being persnickety. But far more are promoting solar, and they
are not just the usual West Coast and Northeast leaders.
And yes, the investment tax credit ramps down to 10 percent
after 2016. But that’s likely to encourage people to install solar
sooner rather than later.
“There will be a frenzied effort by the industry and buyers
to jump on the solar band wagon before the end of the 30 per-
cent ITC,” said Tom Leyden, CEO of Solar Grid Storage.
That’s not to say the decline in the ITC is the only driver of
solar growth — far from it. The U.S. industry is enjoying a host
of feeders: low PV prices, new emphasis on greenhouse gas
reductions, a U.S. President with a pro-green energy agenda,
better utility understanding of its grid benefts and a growing
desire among consumers to use locally controlled energy.
The U.S. is on pace to complete its one millionth installa-
tion in 2015, according to a report by the Solar Energy Indus-
tries Association and GTM Research. This follows a 36 percent
increase in solar PV installa-
tions over last year.
Much of 2014’s growth
came from the utility market
( 61 percent). But both big and
small solar projects are on
The Energy Information
Administration expects utility-scale solar capacity to
nearly double between the
end of 2013 and the end of