Solar energy blew up in 2016, will continue strong growth moving forward

2016 was an absolute blockbuster for solar energy. According to data just released by U.S. Solar Market Insight, a staggering 15 GW of solar capacity came online last year, which nearly doubles the previous record set in 2015 (and represents a 10-fold increase over 2010 levels). What’s more, solar outpaced all other sources of electricity generation for the first time in history, capturing 39% of the total share of new generation. While utility-scale installations led the surge in growth, all sectors enjoyed a healthy year with historically low prices, state renewable mandates, and tax credits all driving the market. And while the growth is expected to cool somewhat in 2017, researchers expect the solar industry to remain robust with total US installed capacity tripling over the next 5 years.