Market Trends

Market Outlook

From a global perspective, there are two factors that will consistently drive growth in the U.S. solar market – and related markets – over the long-term. The first is the continuing drop in hard and soft costs, which drive competitiveness against conventional energy sources. The second is the rise of solar-plus-storage solutions, which will address supply intermittency problems and make solar a more viable option for large-scale deployment. more

Market Sessions

Project Financing

Leases and power purchase agreements have played a vital role in solar power’s boom over the last decade. Looking ahead to the next wave of growth, innovative financing models such as Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE), community solar and online financial technology platforms will play a key role in accelerating the development of the solar industry. more

Finance Sessions

PV Power Plants

Utility scale solar drove solar installations in 2016. According to GTM Research, utility scale solar more than doubled in 2016 with installations surpassing 10 GW. This boom can largely be attributed to the rush around the extension of the federal Investment Tax Credit at the end of 2015. Developers across the board hurried to secure projects, which led to an unprecedented pipeline, most of which was contractually obligated to start operation by the end of 2016. more

PV Power Plants Sessions

Solar Jobs

After another year of record-breaking growth in installation capacity, the U.S. solar industry added more than 51,000 jobs in 2016, a 25 percent increase in employment over the previous year. According to the National Solar Jobs Census, compiled and published by The Solar Foundation, employment in the U.S. solar industry has nearly tripled since 2010. 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. The American Society of Civil Engineers estimates $112 billion of investment is needed to upgrade existing energy infrastructure and gives the current state of infrastructure a D+ grade. In light of severe weather events, aging infrastructure issues of supply security, reliability and resiliency are all being scrutinized. Between 2003 and 2012, weather-related outages cost the U.S. economy an annual average of $18 billion to $33 billion. more

Smart Renewable Energy Sessions