Solar News

Tax Credit Extension Gives Solar Industry a New Boom

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The United States solar market is wrapping up the best three-month period in its history, with a total of three gigawatts worth of solar photovoltaics capacity forecast to be installed from October through the end of the year. In all, about 7.4 gigawatts of solar photovoltaics will be built in 2015, surpassing last year’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.

That, however, is just a trickle compared to the flood of new projects expected to come online in 2016. GTM Research forecasts that the market will more than double next year, reaching 15.4 gigawatts of solar power installed in 2016.

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Renewables = 99% of New US Power Capacity in November

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I know — it’s already January 2016. Unfortunately, it takes FERC a little while to accumulate all of the data on new utility-scale electricity generation capacity, and the November data was released just before the new year.

As you can see below, FERC registered 200 megawatts (MW) of new wind power capacity, 22 MW of new utility-scale solar power capacity, 2 MW of new biomass power capacity, and 5 MW of new natural gas power capacity. Adding in an educated estimate for non-utility-scale solar, the total for November more than doubled, and the share coming from renewables came to 99%.

For the year through November, including an estimate for non-utility-scale solar, 72% of new power capacity is from renewables, 68% being from solar and wind.

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California Governor Jerry Brown Calls for 50% Renewables by 2030

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California Gov. Jerry Brown has upped the ante on the state’s green energy goals, calling for a big increase in renewable energy, alternative fuels and building efficiency over the next fifteen years — along with the smart grid investments to put them to use. In his Monday inaugural address, Brown proposed an ambitious expansion of California’s renewable energy goals, from one-third by 2020 to 50 percent by 2030 — a goal that’s now open to state policymakers with the passage of AB 327 last year.

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