- Sep 17, 2019 3:30 pm GMT
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More large-scale solar projects are waiting to be built than ever before, as utilities and corporations move to lock up deals before federal tax incentives diminish, according to an analysis released today by Wood Mackenzie and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).
Utilities and others signed up for just over 11 gigawatts' worth of solar in the first half of this year, adding up to almost 38 GW in the project pipeline — "the highest it has ever been" in the industry's history, according to the analysis.
Big technology companies and corporations like Anheuser-Busch drove a sizable chunk of demand for large-scale solar — about 17% in the second quarter — along with decarbonization goals from states and cities and clean energy commitments from utilities themselves.
But the main reason for the growth in utility-scale projects, said the groups, was solar power's low cost relative to other resources.
By the mid-2020s, solar could be cheaper than wind, partly because tax credits for wind projects will be phased out in 2020.
Looming phase-out of tax credits are both spurring short-term growth in renewable deployment, but of course cause some amount of uncertainty in the long-term. Ideally, though, these tax credits have done their job and the industry will continue to grow and propser after having been given this boost (which data do suggest is the case)