Solar energy is on the rise in the United States. At the end of the first quarter of 2015, more than 21,300 megawatts of cumulative solar electric capacity had been installed around the country, enough to power more than 4.3 million homes. The rapid growth of solar energy in the United States is the result of forward-looking policies that are helping the nation reduce its contribution to global warming and expand its use of local renewable energy sources.
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Federal tax policies have been an important driver for solar’s recent remarkable growth, but without action during the 114th Congress, the 30-percent investment tax credit (ITC) for solar and other clean energy technologies will expire at the end of 2016. This policy brief estimates the impacts that current law would have on the solar industry.
Analysis from the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) finds that by making shared solar programs available to households and businesses that currently cannot host on-site photovoltaic (PV) systems shared solar could represent 32 to 49 percent of the distributed photovoltaic market in 2020.
This policy brief estimates the impacts that current law would have on the solar industry. It also formulates several policy alternatives and estimates their effectiveness at mitigating the negative impacts of the investment tax credit cliff embedded within current law.
North Carolina is the South’s leader, and fourth among U.S. states, in using solar power to diversify its portfolio of electric power generation fuels. Three policy issues affect the future of North Carolina’s continued development of large-scale solar, which can be viewed in the attached document.
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) recently released a report detailing possible impacts on solar project financing in light of possible reductions to the Investment Tax Credit (ITC). The report finds that a reduction in the ITC will le