Solar continues to grow, finds the news last week. A new report anticipated that the global solar industry could grow to 429 gigawatts of new installations annually by 2026 and some utilities and cities are already announcing plans for greatly expanding their use of solar power. Meanwhile two of the nation’s largest solar installers made the news last week, too, Sungevity and SolarCity.
A new report out from Navigant Research showed that the world solar market could grow to 429 gigawatts of new distributed solar power by 2026—annually. The company said that numerous changes, including continued pricing drops in solar photovoltaics and expansion into new markets, will allow solar power to grow enormously in the next decade.
Utilities are already announcing plans to grow their use of solar power. For instance, Dominion Virginia announced it wants to add up to 5.8 gigawatts of solar by 2042. The utility recently filed an integrated resource plan (IRP) in both North Carolina and Virginia that included eight potential scenarios for building more solar power.
Changes still need to occur before most utilities will likely announce plans for large amounts of new solar. For instance, a recent survey of 7,000 electric consumers by E Source found that they didn’t know—for the most part—what the costs associated with different forms of solar are. The survey found that most consumers weren’t aware that the costs of residential solar were much more expensive than other forms of solar power.
Still, residential solar power adds value to homes. A new study from Redfin and Sun Number showed that in the Midwest, solar power added value to homes. In Chicago, for instance, the the median sale price of a solar home was $303,500. A home without solar had a median sale price of $195,000 in the city.
Last week bankrupt Sungevity was purchased by Solar Spectrum for $50 million. Under the purchase agreement Solar Spectrum will try to retain most Sungevity employees and assume warranties of existing Sungevity customers.
Meanwhile, Tesla’s SolarCity, the nation’s largest solar installer, will end its door-to-door sales practice. Such sales were key to growing the residential solar business across the US. Tesla said it will rely on other sales channels to continue selling residential solar. Such channels will include the web and its Tesla stores.
More cities are committing to renewable energy as well. Atlanta, GA, is the latest to do so as it committed to 100 percent clean energy by 2035. Atlanta, is now the largest city in the south to make such an agreement. The announcement also coincides with the launch of a new campaign, Mayors for 100 Percent Clean Energy.Tweet