With the New Year underway and strong momentum into 2016, the solar industry is poised for impressive growth. Record-breaking conversion efficiency, potential state tax credit extensions in New Mexico and bold predictions from market insiders are the solar headlines that you need to know about in this week’s Solar Energy News.
NREL and CSEM Announce New Record for Solar Panel Conversion Efficiency
It was an exciting week for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology (CSEM), whose joint efforts resulted in a world record for converting non-concentrated sunlight into electricity using dual-junction solar cells. The new record of 29.8 percent was achieved with funding from the Department of Energy’s prestigious SunShot Initiative, of which EnergySage is also a two-time recipient.
Strong Third Quarter for Dow Jones Bodes Well for Solar, Says Analyst
Market analyst Bill Alpert believes widespread market growth, illustrated by the Dow Jones Industrial Average’s 8 percent growth in the third quarter of 2015, is great news for the solar industry. In looking ahead to what 2016 will bring for solar, Alpert explains that the economic and environmental benefits of solar photovoltaics position solar to dethrone fossil fuels. Following the recent ITC extension and Paris climate agreement, investors and index analysts alike are reaching similar conclusions: solar as an industry is poised to overtake fossil fuels at an unprecedented rate.
New Mexico Legislators Pursue State Tax Credit Extension
A bipartisan contingent of legislators in New Mexico are working to extend valuable state tax credits, which cover 10 percent (up to $9,000) of the cost of installing solar in the 47th state. Considering homeowners and businesses in New Mexico spent over $31 million on installing solar with support of the existing state tax credit last year, lawmakers and solar shoppers alike hope that their own tax break will be extended like federal ITC.
The Solar Boom is Continuing, and Other 2016 Solar Trends
Thanks to a confluence of policy changes, increased choice, and falling costs, solar energy’s “unprecedented boom” is continuing in 2016. As the market grows, solar shoppers are receiving more financing, equipment options, and demanding greater transparency for their solar investments. EnergySage CEO Vikram Aggarwal discusses the top 5 trends in the solar market this year with TriplePundit.