Record installations expected in 2016 will put the US within a stone’s throw of challenging China’s position as the world number one solar market this year.
Figures published today by GTM Research forecast 16GW of new solar capacity in the US this year, a huge 119% increase on last year’s 7.3GW, which itself was a record.
The well documented bounce effect from the unexpectedly generous extension to the investment tax credit (ITC) will be the main driver for the US’s record-breaking year, which could put it close to China as the world’s biggest market, according to observers.
“This is a new energy paradigm and the solar industry officially has a seat at the table with the largest energy producers,” said Rhone Resch, president and CEO of the Solar Energy industries Association, which co-launched the report with GTM. “Because of the strong demand for solar energy nationwide, and smart public policies like the ITC [investment tax credit] and NEM [net energy metering], 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 GTM’s figures, the US’s utility-scale segment will continue its ongoing boom, accounting for 74% of new installations this year. But the market research firm said the residential and commercial markets would also experience strong growth in 2016, with the US close to installing its one-millionth solar installation milestone.
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