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The Current State of the Solar Energy Industry: By Isabella Lee

The Current State of the Solar Energy Industry
Isabella Lee
Content & Engagement Manager

Over the past decades, the solar energy industry has continued to grow steadily. The shift by
global economy from fossil fuels...

Over the past decades, the solar energy industry has continued to grow steadily. The shift in the global economy from fossil fuels and other sources of energy that are environmentally hazardous to clean energy has steered the growth to greater heights.
In the United States, the industry generated an excess of 17 billion dollars to the economy. Solar energy market employed over 250,000 Americans by the year 2017. Revenue generated from the sector grew to 210 million dollars in 2017 from paltry 42 million dollars in 2007. The growth signifies significant growth in the industry that has maintained the steady annual increase of 54 percent in installations for the last decade.

You don’t need to be an environmental activist to appreciate the value of solar panels. Though they are good for the environmental, being as they are a source of renewable energy, they can also save you money. The editor of Green Business Watch, Alistair Kay, says ‘solar panels can save you hundreds, or even thousands, of pounds a year. We really need to increase awareness of them, as they can have a huge impact, both on your wallet and on the environment.”

However, the United States remains the second largest global market for solar energy after China. Solar energy installations are expected to stay in standstill through 2018 in the United States. GTM research forecast a drop of 12 percent in the period between 2018 and 2022 due to changes in federal and state policies regarding solar installations. Trump’s administration imposed punitive duties on imported solar panels hence depressing the demand.

According to data from Solar Power Europe, there was a growth of 29.3 percent of the global solar market. The increase signifies a new capacity of 405GW operating solar power. According to IFLScience 89 percent of the total operating solar power was installed in the last seven years. The clean energy is expected to be leading source of energy in the globe by 2050.

GMT research approximates that in the year 2017, there was double-digit gigawatts growth in the industry. The report indicates that there was a 26 percent growth of the global solar market. It further points out the installation of 99 gigawatts of the grid in the same year. The new research by the firm expects that there will 106 gigawatts of PV online in 2018 signifying, for the first time, a 3-digits growth of the global solar market.

Estimates from IFLScience indicates that China remains the global giant in the solar power market. The Asian economy leader installed 52.8 GW last year translating to 53 percent of total global installations in 2017. The United States recorded 10.6 gigawatts of solar energy and was followed closely by India with 9.6 gigawatts.

According to GMT research, between years 2017 and 2018, global solar energy giant quartet countries of China, the United States, India, and Japan will dominate the demand. However, they will experience a decline in the overall global market by 10% by 2022. Countries installing above 1 GW are expected to rise from the current nine states to 14 in the period.

There was a slight decline in the global solar energy market in the period between 2017 and 20018 — the Chinese demand resulted in the overall reduction. President Trump’s introduction of a punitive duty on solar panels imports affected the United States market considerably.

The future for solar energy industry looks very promising. Has the world takes the issue of climate change seriously, many countries are shifting to solar energy as the best source of clean energy. Analysis from Bloomberg New Energy Finance indicates that there was an additional of 35 gigawatts of solar power in 2017 in developing countries, representing a rise of 54 percent. The surge is a clear indication that solar energy is not limited to the developed world, but it is a global trend that isn’t stopping any time soon.


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