Solar Outlook 2020: Trends That Could Transform the Industry

10 Solar Industry Trends in 2020

  1. While over 90 percent of Americans want solar, only about half want to pay for it, which is why 30 percent federal solar tax credits through 2021 are vital to the industry. Solar will continue to grow in demand as more businesses embrace it and report energy savings.
  2. Homeowners will continue to take advantage of solar tax credits at least through 2021 and maybe longer if Congress extends this incentive. The residential solar segment hit an all time record in Q3 2019 with 71.3 GW of installed capacity, which was enough to power 13.5 million homes.
  3. California’s new law mandating most new homes and building must be installed with solar panels will add further stimulus to the solar industry.
  4. Solar installations will increase across all market segments, through 2021 among non-utility businesses and developers looking to take advantage of federal tax credits. Energy investment models pioneered by Fortune 500 companies will continue to attract big investors.
  5. Various traditional energy companies will diversify more to include renewables. European developers have laid the groundwork to build a more visible solar presence in the United States.
  6. Improvements in solar battery technology will continue among researchers. Current home solar batteries typically provide 10 kWH of capacity. These batteries, which have a lifespan up to 15 years, can be stacked to increase capacity, as scientists aim for greater efficiency.
  7. Tariffs on solar panels from China will benefit U.S. manufacturers such as First Solar, although these tariffs were offset by lower panel prices in 2019.
  8. Declining prices for solar panels and batteries will continue, attracting new buyers who want to save on otherwise uncertain energy costs. Over 96 percent of net new energy generation capacity in 2020 will come from solar and wind sources, according to Deloitte. Solar construction costs fell by 37 percent from 2013 to 2017.
  9. Renewable energy will be an issue in the 2020 Presidential Election, partly as a solution to climate change.
  10. Demand will increase for a broad range of solar products such as solar powered generators, portable smartphone chargers, outdoor motion sensor lights, backpacks and cookers.

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