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Jan Lee headshot

Solar Market Heading for a 'Second Gold Rush' in 2014

Words by Jan Lee

Rooftop solar panel purchases are on the rise. That’s great news for the solar industry, says Deutsche Bank Market Research, which is predicting a stellar year and a “second gold rush” for the North American solar market.

The bank’s report, "2014 Outlook: Let the Second Gold Rush Begin," gave additional incentive for solar installation companies, which Deutsche Bank predicts will lead this resurgence. It placed the base demand for 2014 at around 46 GW, shooting to 56 GW in 2015.

"We expect another gold rush by downstream installers to add recurring MW ahead of policy changes over the next two to three years," the report said. It also predicted that financing difficulties would eventually improve.

It makes sense. Installers across the country are taking advantage of the upswing before current tax credits expire in 2016, and the residential market offers increased potential. At the present time, homeowners can claim a 30 percent tax credit for new solar installations. That’s not only music to taxpayers, it’s a boon for installers that hope to capitalize on that increasing market.

Those that may particularly benefit, says Deutsche Bank, are the solar leasing companies.

"Solar leasing companies are highly profitable and have strong incentives to maximize the number of leasing customers ahead of ITC expiration in 2016," leading to a competitive decrease in leasing prices.

But according to the analysts, there will still be challenges ahead, with surges for downstream (installers, in particular) and some market tightness due to the gap between supply and demand. The analysts expect that the limitations will eventually be eased by multiple expansion.

Increased investment in the solar PV industry was already beginning to show in late 2013. Solar companies in the U.S., Canada and abroad report increased projects - downplaying last year’s predictions that solar and wind would see a decline following changes in federal tax incentive programs.

Image courtesy of Lucas Braun

Jan Lee headshotJan Lee

Jan Lee is a former news editor and award-winning editorial writer whose non-fiction and fiction have been published in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, the U.K. and Australia. Her articles and posts can be found on TriplePundit, JustMeans, and her blog, The Multicultural Jew, as well as other publications. She currently splits her residence between the city of Vancouver, British Columbia and the rural farmlands of Idaho.

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