Solar Forecasts

Solar Forecasts


2016 is expected to be another incredible year for solar in the U.S. and in the world. In all, about 7.4 gigawatts of solar photovoltaics have been built in 2015 in the U.S., surpassing 2014’s record total of 6.3 gigawatts, according to a new report released on December 9 by the Solar Energy Industries Association and produced by GTM Research.

GTM Research forecasts that the market will more than double this year, reaching 15.4 gigawatts of solar power installed in 2016. Growth will occur in the residential and utility PV segments.

Worldwide, growth in solar installations is expected to rival the boom occurring in the United States. IHS Research has released an update on its global solar installation data that is worth a look. Here are their year-by-year numbers:

  • 46 GW in 2014
  • 58 GW in 2015 (+26 percent year over year)
  • 67GW in 2016 (+16 percent year over year)
  • 71.5GW in 2017 to (+7 percent year over year)

Back in the United States, the end of 2015 marked a turning point since solar will now begin generating over 1% of all electricity in the country. That 1% compromises more power than the state of Nevada consumes in an entire year. California is still by far the State with the biggest solar portion out of its energy mix (around 10% of California’s electricity).

With prices that keeps falling, solar is soon expected to become the cheapest source of electricity.