Solar Energy Outlook
Solar energy is the cleanest and most abundant renewable source available, and in the last decade, advancements in solar energy technology have dramatically changed the energy landscape. Semiconductors used in solar panels were long-thought to have reached their maximum efficiency, but breakthroughs in clean tech are helping to make solar energy a cost-effective, as well as environmentally conscious, alternative. The price of solar has been declining rapidly over the past decade, and market projections point to continued declines from a continued acceleration of global adoption going forward.
Solar Energy Potential in New York
Presently, we are observing record growth in the renewable energy sector and the establishment of a global market for solar energy. New York State in particular has a considerable amount of solar potential. New York is currently home to 7488 solar photovoltaic (PV) installations, ranking the state 6th in the nation. However it lags behind neighboring states such as New Jersey. From 2006 to 2011, solar PV in New York City alone more than tripled form 1.47 megawatts to 5.65 megawatts. Over $33 million was spent on solar installations in New York through the first three months of 2012. This will put the state on pace to equal the $134 million spent in 2011.
Initiative to Boost Solar in New York
The NY-Sun initiative’s goal is to double the amount of solar installed for customers in 2012 and quadruple it in 2013. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed a series of bills which aim to boost the uptake of solar in the state. They will make solar both more affordable and create new jobs. The first law creates statewide tax credits which are available for homeowners obtaining solar equipment via a lease program or power purchase agreement (PPA). The second law involves sales tax exemptions for the sale and installation of commercial solar systems equipment. The last law is an extension to property tax abatements available to solar energy generating systems in New York City through 2013 and 2014. In August 2012, Governor Cuomo announced that $30 million has been awarded to 16 developers to finance large-scale photovoltaic (PV) projects at multiple sites in New York City and the lower Hudson Valley. New York has a Renewable Portfolio Standard, however unfortunately does not yet have a Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs) program like New Jersey.
Associated Renewable can help guide customers through these cumbersome policies and tax incentives in order to achieve the most profitable solar system. More than 100,000 Americans work in solar today. National solar employment grew nearly 7% year-over-year – a bright spot of growth in an overall economy that only added 0.7% employment. Associated Renewable supports solar in New York and is committed to help businesses develop solar.