The Energy Information Administration is forecasting that solar and other renewable energy generation is expected to move forward, though slowly, in 2019.
The current administration policy on solar energy is not favorable; thus the forecast of a 1% increase reflects caution on their part. This being said, solar is here to stay and will continue to grow despite attempts to thwart it.
Federal incentives are still in place until 2020 and many forward-thinking States have generous incentives in place as well, so despite the conservative estimate by the Energy Information Administration, 2019 is a good year to go solar!
The agency predicts that US solar generation will rise from 212,000 MW/h/d in 2017 to 268,000 Mwh/d in 2018 to at least 303,000 MW/h/d in 2019. That represents a 13 percent increase over 2018.
States Out Front
Supportive legislation is key to achieving ongoing increases in solar energy. Solar plus storage made strides with estimates that the total energy storage deployed in 2018 grew by roughly 60% while the power basis increased by roughly 300%. The $474 million spent on energy storage in 2018 is expected to increase to $4.5 billion by 2023.
California, Hawaii, and New York are on track to achieving this ambitious goal within their states as they have set aggressive targets for utilities operating within their states to increase the deployment of solar storage within their respective states. After a bumpy start, Nevada has also increased their share of renewable energy for their state-wide electricity sector.
In addition, 29 states and Washington, DC have renewable portfolio standards (RPS). An RPS is a law that requires electric utilities to generate a certain percentage of electricity from renewable sources by a specific date. The dates vary by state but failure to meet these goals make the utility companies subject to large fines.
Affordability of Solar in 2019
The simple fact is that solar power has become increasingly affordable in the last few years making a top quality solar power system able to pay for itself within less and less time. Currently, a top of the line system can pay for itself in as little as three to five years saving homeowners and small business owners thousands of dollars on power bills over the life of their system.
As stated above, current federal government rebates are in place until 2020 with many state and local rebates available as well. Coupled with increasingly high-efficiency panels, 2019 is actually a good year to make the switch to solar power.