January 11, 2017

A Look Back at the Most Impactful Commercial Solar Moments of 2016

Commercial Solar2016 was an impactful year for commercial solar. And trends continue to point toward the growth of clean energy. Because of this, 2017 is setting the stage to be the biggest year yet. Here’s a brief look at some of the top commercial solar stories from the past year that made the news.

Record Year in Solar

For solar energy, 2016 was a year to remember. A landmark moment occurred in February 2016, when the one millionth solar PV system was installed in the U.S. The vice president of communications at the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), Dan Whitten, stated, “This is a time to mark when the solar industry started to accelerate at warp speed.”

Boom Time for U.S. Solar

According to SEIA, another major milestone of two million solar installations is anticipated to take only two more years to reach.

As PV Magazine puts it, “Even though final data is not yet in, 2016 was clearly boom time for U.S. solar. While the market has grown every year in the 21st century, by the time final numbers are published the volume of the U.S. market is expected to have nearly doubled from just over 7 GW in 2015 to 13-14 GW in 2016.

Commercial Solar Beats Out Any Other Source of Electricity

The declining costs of solar is one of the biggest stories in the renewable energy world. Solar development continues to change the energy landscape around us.

For the first time, market analysts at Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) found that building a new commercial solar farm was less expensive than wind projects. It is also less than half the price of coal power. This solar surprise proved to be a remarkable turning point for renewables, especially in lower-income countries.

Solar and Renewable Energy Mandates

Many states have started to increase their solar and renewable energy mandates. For example, New York imposed a 50% by 2030 renewable portfolio standardOregon also imposed a mandate of 50% by 2040. More than half of all U.S. states have some type of renewable energy standard or goal in place, 18 states include more specific requirements (called carve-outs) for distributed generation. The top toughest mandates in the nation include Hawaii, Vermont, California, Oregon and New Jersey.

Technological Advances Make Commercial Solar Sleek

Innovations, such as Tesla’s “irresistible” solar panels are nearly indistinguishable from conventional tiling. Their Powerwall, lithium-ion battery, will continue to drive the adoption of commercial solar solutions this year as well.

Commercial Solar Installations

Licensed in 50 states and in Europe, KMB Design Group has provided designs and engineering services for over 450 locations and 375 Megawatts (MW) for a wide range of solar installations from small scale (less than 10KW) to large scale (over 8mw).

Contact us today to find out how to put energy into your projects today!