With advancing technologies and generous tax credits, wind power is on the rise, but it looks like solar will suffer in 2017.
Sales for wind energy are booming this year and according to the American Wind Energy Association, new wind energy contracts are up by 39 percent and growth is expected to continue.
However, solar has suffered with low residential sales and the bankruptcy of SunEdison, formerly the largest solar power developer in the world, had a tremendous impact on the industry.
According to GTM Research, new U.S. solar installations are expected to fall by 4% in 2017 (even after rising 88% in 2016).
Many credible sources like Bloomberg are confirming their gloomy forecast for solar:
Bloomberg New Energy Finance:
“After jumping more than 1,000 percent since 2010, panel installations are projected to grow by only 0.3 percent in 2017.”
Southern Chief Executive, Tom Fanning said to Wall Street analysts this past October:
“We’re making a pivot now away from solar.”
Chair of the project finance practice at law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, Ed Zaelke, said:
“Solar had its run of driving down cost. Now wind is coming on strong with improvements in technology.”
Though some sources are keeping hopeful for solar energy, like Xcel Energy’s Chief Executive Ben Fowke who said, “The best time to bring on a lot of large scale solar will be towards the end of this decade.”
Ultimately, solar has a long way to go in improving its technology and driving down costs in order to stay competitive with wind power.