The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) announced last week that U.S. solar installations reached the two million mark. U.S. solar reached this significant milestone just three years after surpassing the one million installation threshold in 2015. Forecasts predict three million U.S. solar installations by 2021 and four million by 2023.
Windmill Capital Management sees the continued acceleration in the growth of U.S. solar as a function of several factors.
> Increased awareness of the human impact on climate change resulting from CO2 emissions.
> Greater consumer confidence in the reliability and longevity of PV panels and associated installation equipment.
> Continued volatility in utility electricity prices and electrical grid performance combined with declining prices for PV equipment.
> Government support for clean energy, especially tax policy.
It should be noted, however, that the growth of U.S. solar installations slowed in 2018 and 2019. Federal tariffs on imported panels and steel sowed market uncertainty and increased per watt installation costs. We support continued state and Congressional policies that favor the development of clean energy. Tax policy, regulations and permitting, and utility / grid operations must support clean energy.
We also note that PV solar is one of the few technological areas where the U.S. is not the global leader. Capacity in China is nearly three times that of the U.S. Japan and Germany lag the U.S. in installed capacity only marginally, in spite of significantly smaller populations and total energy consumption.
Therefore, as we pause to celebrate the two million PV solar installation milestone, Windmill Capital Management also looks forward. We resolve to continue helping commercial and industrial solar developers gain greater access to a range of capital sources. We also resolve to continue to educate investors about clean energy investment opportunities. Particularly as social impact and ESG investing grows, investors should be aware of the financial and social benefits of investing and owning C&I solar projects.
See the SEIA press release.
See more about clean energy investing.