The U.S. Solar market is going mainstream.

It might be surprising to many investors to learn how large and how quickly the solar power market is growing.  In 2017, 30% of all new U.S. electric generating capacity came from solar, ranking 2nd only to natural gas.1In 2010, only 4% came from solar. And what may be even more surprising is that the U.S. solar installed capacity is expected to increase by 2x over the next five  years.2

In May 2018, California mandated that all new homes in 2020 and beyond install solar. 3   This will further validate residential solar nationally and support downward pressure on solar equipment pricing in the years to come. 

In 2017, over $160B was invested in solar projects, an 18% increase over 2016, despite falling unit costs. 4That same year, more capital was invested in solar than in coal, gas and nuclear combined.5 

Does this mean that it’s time to invest in solar projects?  The answer depends on many, many factors. But it helps that the market has grown and is projected to continue to do so, and prices are falling.  

For more information on investing in this industry sector, please see “How to Navigate the Landscape of Investment Options in Renewable Energy,” an article by Chris Clement, PhD of IronOak Energy Capital, which appeared in the November 2017 issue of Real Assets Advisor.  


  1. SEIA-GTM (2018). U.S. Solar Market Insight
  2. Ibid
  3.  WSJ (2018). California Takes Big Step to Require Solar on New Homes.
  4. Bloomberg (2018). State of Clean Energy Investment.
  5. Forbes / UNEP (2017). Solar Power Investment Outstripped Coal, Gas and Nuclear Combined In 2017.





In the interest of accessibility, here are some terms that any investor should be familiary with.