The solar market has seen ebbs and flows over the past decade and right now, utility-scale solar appears to be the hottest business in town. Look around… Your neighbor, friend, or cousin probably has a brand new exciting job in a rather unknown technology with brightly promised future and the potential for financial freedom!
The trajectories in the solar industry that demonstrate the diverse and sustained growth of solar across the country are extensively growing. According to the Q3 2019 U.S. Solar Market Insight Report from Wood Mackenzie and the Solar Energy Industries Association, the utility-scale pipeline has hit an all-time high of 37.9 gigawatts (GW), enough to power 6.2 million homes.
In the first six months of 2019, 11.2 GW of utility-scale solar projects have been announced, and 17% of those were from corporate buyers. As recently as 2016, corporate buyers were only 10% of the market and passed just a bit more than 1 GW of projects, a level that's already been surpassed.
On the utility side, solar is winning on the price of electricity. Prices for power purchase agreements have ranged from $0.018 to $0.035 per kWh for electricity, according to the report, which would beat any new fossil fuel plant. Solar is now the most economical choice for utilities, and 55% of the 11.2 GW of new projects signed in 2019 are based on economic drivers for utilities. Add that with The Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) which has provided industry stability and growth since its initial passage in 2006. In the last decade, solar has experienced an average annual growth rate of 50%. Installations surged in 2016 ahead of potential expiration of the ITC, but an extension in late 2015 has created federal policy stability through 2021.
But what is it actually like to be a part of this new and emerging market? What do the day to day operations look like? One employee of Enviro Solar Power has been quoted saying “There aren’t a lot of industries where you can be successful while having a positive impact on the environment in a personal way. Every day I am my own boss, As long as I am self-motivated I can be the best version of an environmentalist which I am at heart all while being able to meet a ton of really awesome people and impact there life in a positive manner; Lowering there electric bill while helping them join the fight to a more sustainable environment by removing the need of fossil fuels.”
Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables expects solar installations to grow by 25 percent in 2019 compared to 2018, with more than 13 GWdc of installations this year.
After 2% market decline in 2018 due to module tariff impacts on utility-scale project development timelines, growth will resume in 2019 with more than 12 GW expected. Installations will continue to grow across all market segments in 2020 and 2021 as prices drop and developers accelerate build-out ahead of Investment Tax Credit declines. Over the next 5 years, total installed solar capacity will more than double, with cumulative deployment topping 100 GW by 2021.
Data from SEIA's annual Solar Means Business report shows that major U.S. corporations, including Apple, Amazon, Target, and Walmart are investing in solar and renewable energy at an incredible rate. Through 2018, the top corporate solar users in America have installed more than 7,000 MW of capacity across more than 35,000 different facilities across the country. 2018 was the second-largest year for commercial solar installations, with 1,144 MW installed.
More than half of the 7 GW of corporate solar capacity has been installed in the last three years.
The solar industry is experiencing unprecedented growth in America. For the first time ever, over two million solar installations have been completed and homeowner adoption rates are on the rise. EnviroSolar Power is the emerging leader in the powerhouse combination of Solar, Smart Homes, and Security.
We are growing across the country and our sales team is the best in the industry.