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Friday, December 18, 2015

The Booming Solar Market: An Entrepreneurial Opportunity

Mike Munsell of Greentech Media writes:

The ITC extension currently written into the omnibus spending bill will result in a 20-gigawatt annual solar market in the U.S. by 2020.

A five-year extension to the solar investment tax credit (ITC), which is currently included in the omnibus spending bill under consideration in Congress, would result in 25 gigawatts (GW) of additional solar capacity over the next five years -- a 54 percent increase over a no-extension scenario. According to GTM Research, which just released a preliminary updated state- and segment-level forecasts based on the current omnibus language, ITC extension will foster $40 billion in incremental investment in solar between 2016 and 2020.

FIGURE: U.S. PV Installations With and Without ITC Extension, 2010-2020

Source: GTM Research

"The ITC extension currently written into the omnibus spending bill will result in a 20-gigawatt annual solar market in the U.S. by 2020," said Shayle Kann, senior VP of GTM Research. "At that rate, more solar will be installed each year than was added to the grid cumulatively through 2014."

Compare that projection to the total amount of solar added during 2015: just 3 gigawatts. Clearly, this slow-growth economy has a pocket of high growth within it.