According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), small-scale solar installations in the United States account for nearly a third of the country’s overall grid capacity. “Generation from roof-top photovoltaic systems has become an increasingly important part of total solar generation in the United States,” EIA Administrator Adam Sieminski.
The U.S. House of Representatives included a five-year extension of the solar investment tax credit (ITC) in the omnibus bill, which could have a significant impact on the U.S. solar market. The ITC, which offers a 30 percent tax credit on solar installations, is set to expire in 2016—-which could remove an essential driver of growth in the solar industry.
According to a recent study by IHS Technology, there is currently a domestic PV project pipeline totaling about 58 GW. A five-year extension of the ITC “could spur developers to continue growing the pipeline at the current rate of 15 GW per year,” notes the study. If the extension is enacted, it could mean 12 GW to 14 GW of solar will be installed in the U.S. in 2016 with a potential for 13 GW to 16 GW installed in 2017.