DOE — U.S. will triple its solar capacity by 2017

Source: By (Bobby Magill, London Guardian • Posted: Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The United States is on track to triple its solar power capacity in three years, according to the Department of Energy.

The agency recently released data indicating that solar power has continued to grow in the country, while the coal market has been shrinking. Experts say that the rise in the solar energy industry can be attributed to the low costs of equipment as well as tax credits offered to the sector.

The industry will have grown by nearly 40 percent annually in the last few years, from 10 gigawatts of capacity in 2014 to a projected 27 GW in 2017.

“Because of pent-up demand due to uncertainty over the federal tax credit, solar had a record year in 2016. Solar capacity build-out is expected to be similar next year,” said Doug Vine, with the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions.

The data also showed that wind energy generation capacity is projected to grow around 8 percent next year, while natural gas continues to play a critical role in electricity generation. More than a third of electricity in the country has been produced using natural gas this year (Bobby Magill, London Guardian, Oct. 21). — KB