Fun Facts
about U.S. Solar PV
Feb, 2020

Fun Fact 1. 

Economic Incentives for U.S. Solar PV Market Growth

The U.S. solar PV market’s steady growth can be largely attributed to supportive policies at the state and Federal levels that accelerate the dissemination of solar PV systems.


Investment Tax Credit (ITC)

The ITC is a U.S. Federal incentive that applies partial tax deductions to new renewable energy facilities and technology investments including PV, wind, and hydropower projects. Among these categories, Solar PV energy maintained 30% tax deduction rates up to 2019, with phased tax cuts starting in 2020. By the start of 2022, the tax credit will step down to 10% for commercial projects (to be maintained indefinitely) and be phased out entirely to 0% for residential projects. The ITC’s implementation has contributed tremendously to price reductions in solar PV systems. Further, according to the U.S. Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), solar PV systems for residential and commercial use have achieved 76% annual growth as a direct result of the ITC’s introduction in 2006.
(Source  |

Net Metering (NEM) 

Net Metering (NEM) is an economic mechanism  by which solar PV generation facility owners can resell excess power to utility companies. NEM has contributed greatly to resolving the problems of initial investment cost for new renewable energy-based power generating units and storage of self-generated power. It has been introduced and is applied in 38 states.

Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) 

A Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) is a state government standard that designates a specific ratio of total power supply to new renewable energy. Currently, 29 states in the U.S. have enforced an RPS, with nine such states aiming to achieve 100% renewable energy within the next 30 years. 

California Solar Mandate

The State of California mandated the installation of solar PV power generation systems for newly-built houses through the legislation of the Building Code in 2019. The law stipulates that construction of solar PV systems is mandatory not only for single-family houses but also multi-household homes. Energy research firm Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables forecasted that this measure would increase new residential solar installations annually up to 334 MW in 2024. 

Fun Fact 2. 

U.S. Companies Participate in RE100

RE100 is a campaign in which companies voluntarily opt in to source their power from 100% renewable energy. By the end of 2019, a total of 225 companies have joined the campaign, with particularly active participation from companies based in Asia and the South Pacific. About 75% of these companies aim to achieve 100% renewable energy consumption by 2030 (2028 on average). In the U.S., Fortune 500 companies such as Apple, Facebook, and Amazon have also joined the campaign. Q CELLS has supplied 102.5MW of Q.PEAK DUO L-G5.2 modules to a Facebook data center in Georgia, a major contribution to the global uptake and development of solar PV energy.

Fun Fact 3. 

The U.S. Demand for Black Modules

It is required by law that rooftop module colors be similar to nearby structures in some northeast regions in the U.S., including New Jersey. Moreover, demand for black module installation is robust in these regions since most houses have dark-colored roofs. Q CELLS released the Q.PEAK DUO BLK-G5 as its main product for the U.S. residential PV market in 2019, achieving the largest market share in the U.S. market with this product. We anticipate an increase in installations through the release of a new model, the Q.PEAK DUO BLK-G6+, with improved power output up to 345Wp and a 25-year extended warranty.

Fun Fact 4. 

Increase in Installation of Energy Storage Systems (ESS)

For the last 14 years, the State of California has thrown its support behind the adoption of distributed power generation systems, including solar PV/battery units, through the Self-Generation Incentive Program. The state, due to its  physical geography, is prone to protracted droughts and fires caused by continuously dry weather. The “Kincade Fire” that ravaged the north and south of the state caused power outages for about 3 million people last October. The California Public Utilities Commission decided to allocate 63% of its newly secured $830M budget to the areas that suffered from wildfires and power outages. Thus, a $613M budget budget (up from the previous $100M budget) was approved to promote the adoption of solar + storage for low-income households.  
Previously, many families installed ESS in their homes to save on electricity bills. Nowadays, adoption of ESS as an auxiliary source for power generation in the case of such disasters is on the rise. Beyond California, demand for solar + storage is rapidly increasing in other states such as Texas and Florida as well.

#Energy Insight
#Solar PV Market
#Economic Incentives for U.S.
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