With so many solar company bankruptcies, you’d think the industry is in a death spiral. But a study out today shows that manufacturers’ pains–and new financing options–have led to brisk business for installing solar power.
Installations of solar photovoltaic power hit 506 megawatts in the first quarter of this year in the U.S. across 18,000 sites, an 85 percent jump in megawatts from the first quarter last year, according to a report from the Solar Energy Industry Association done with GTM Research.
The surprisingly strong numbers led forecasters to revise estimates for total installations this year upward to almost 3,300 megawatts, or 3.3 gigawatts of newly installed capacity. Financing has matured substantially in the past few years to the point where dozens of companies now offer a solar lease or power purchase agreement to consumers and businesses. Financing options–either by paying for the power panels produce or a monthly lease–means consumers don’t need to spend a lot of money upfront to purchase solar panels, a perennial barrier to broad market penetration.
“We’re seeing these new innovative models such as solar leasing taking off in many of the states where it’s legislatively allowed,” said Tom Kimbis, the vice president of strategy and external affairs at SEIA.
note: With all this going on in this country, tell us why you think Tennessee is not experiencing the same growth in solar adoption as other states, after all, we have a major solar panel manufacturer (Sharp), polysilicon manufacturers (Wacker and Hemlock), a manufacturer of solar structures (Outpost Solar) and it solar wire harnessing (Shoals Technologies Group)?