Robust PV market on course in 2016

Nearly one-third of 2016 is over, and this looks like a banner year for the residential solar photovoltaic (PV) market. To back that up, recent research studies project that global solar installations will reach 64.7 GW in 2016, and the top three solar nations will remain China, the United States and Japan, with America overtaking Japan for the number-two spot. The “PV Three” will account for about two-thirds of the global solar market.

Although China is expected to continue leading the global PV market, the United States is expected to show the most robust growth in 2016, fueled by the anticipation of the federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) expiration in 2020, which developers and residential rooftop owners have already factored into their plans when they received a 5-year extension last year.

In 2016, the U.S. is set to exceed the much-anticipated 10-GW mark, to leap ahead of Japan.

PV deployment in America is currently trending on an accelerated track and with the ITC continuing through 2020; all indications are that the uptrend will continue at least until then. Some forecasters believe the United States will reach 10.8 GW for 2016, and move upward from there. The pundits believe this uptrend should continue through the end of the current ITC schedule.

While the ITC has been a major market driver at the national level, Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) continues playing a significant role at the state level. Last year, Hawaii became the first state to enact a 100 percent renewable energy policy to reduce its dependency on imported fossil fuels. California, the biggest solar market in the U.S, also increased its renewable goal to 50 percent by 2030 and the state of New York followed the suit. These will continue boosting the industry in the long-term.

At the local level, we see Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) residential solar growth set up in California and New York. In California, San Francisco will be launching a CCA program in April, 2016.  CCA is a system adopted into law in California, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Rhode Island, which allows cities and counties to aggregate the buying power of individual customers within a defined jurisdiction in order to secure alternative energy supply contracts on a community-wide basis, but allowing consumers not wishing to participate to opt out. Also known as municipal aggregation, governmental aggregation, electricity aggregation, and community aggregation, CCAs now serve nearly 5% of Americans in over 1300 municipalities. CCAs are de facto public utilities of a new form that aggregate regional energy demand and negotiate with competitive suppliers and developers, rather than the traditional utility business model based on monopolizing energy supply.

San Mateo county, and many of the cities in their region will be launching a CCA program called, “Peninsula Clean Energy” in August of this year.  There are also CCA efforts in the Los Angeles regions, the Monterey Bay regions, the North Coast, and in Alameda County where Oakland and Berkeley are located.

Other indicators of growth include the fact that, like China, the United States agreed to reduce or limit emissions at COP21 in Paris. This move, fueled by climate change is a huge driver for CCAs, as local governments want a tool that redirects an existing funding stream that exists in each community, and use it to get more renewable energy onto the grid to reduce GHG emissions.

The solar industry is poised to compete with other energy renewable technologies as the world moves to change its energy infrastructure.

For more information on residential solar and for financing programs that fit the needs of  homeowners and Installers, contact your SunLender representative today. Visit www.Sunlender.comor contact Michael Thompson: Telephone:  408-766-9475; Email: mthompson@sunlender.com