Market Trends

Market Outlook

The global solar market is expected to continue its growth in 2018. The U.S. alone accomplished a milestone in 2017, reaching 49.3 gigawatts (GW) of total installed capacity by Q3 and expected to install another 12 GW by the end of the year. As more states realize the potential of solar energy, and solar-plus-storage deployments gain traction in both residential and utility-scale projects, approximately 106 gigawatts of new PV is expected to go live in 2018, making this year the global solar market’s first-ever triple-digit year, according to GTM Research. more

Project Financing

Traditional financing models, including leases and power purchase agreements, have played a vital role in reducing risk and enabling solar projects. Looking ahead to the next wave of growth, innovative financing models such as Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) and incentive programs for community solar will play a key role in accelerating the reach of solar in the United States. more

PV Power Plants

As prices for renewable energy costs and PPAs continue to decline, clean energy may be closer to winning the battle with fossil fuels. According to an International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) report, the average levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) for utility-scale solar reached as low as $0.10 per kilowatt-hour, a price decrease of nearly of 73 percent between 2010 and 2017. This pricing is comparable to $0.05 and $0.17 per kilowatt-hour for fossil fuel power. This downward slope in price has continued to decline from 2014 to 2017 with more solar projects moving toward the global average coal and gas LCOE range. more

Solar Jobs

The U.S. solar market has created hundreds of thousands of jobs for Americans and, until recently, has seen record growth year-over-year. According to the 2017 National Solar Jobs Census, compiled and published by The Solar Foundation, one in 50 jobs in the U.S. were in the solar energy sector, nearly triple the amount available in 2010 and double the amount of jobs provided by the coal industry at the time. more

Energy Storage

The outlook for the growth of the energy storage industry is very strong, much like the outlook for the solar industry. And while the two industries are distinct, the historical growth patterns of the two industries are quite similar. In the past ten years, solar had a compound annual growth rate of more than 60 percent. The energy storage market has also undergone substantial growth; 83 MW of storage were installed in 2012. By 2021 GTM Research predicts more than 2 GW will be installed annually. more

Energy Storage Sessions

Smart Renewable Energy

Most of the U.S. energy infrastructure predates the turn of the 20th century. From transmission and distribution lines to generation plants, everything was constructed in the 1950s and 1960s with a 50-year life expectancy.  Following the devastating natural disasters in 2017 resulting in power outages, the value for modern, reliable and resilient infrastructure is highlighted. more