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WASHINGTON – Solar installations continue to slow in the United States, according to new data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
In June more than 486,000 kilowatts of solar panels were shipped, a more than 40 percent decrease from a year ago.
After a record year in 2016, with more than 13.4 million kilowatts of solar panels installed, the industry has steadily pulled back. Analysts attribute the shift to a rush to install panels in 2016, to take advantage of a federal tax credit that was scheduled to expire but Congress ultimately extended.
And the solar industry faces further headwinds, after President Donald Trump imposed tariffs on imported solar panels earlier this year, to boost domestic manufacturing.
But even with the slowdown, the rise of increasingly affordable solar energy on the U.S. power grid is not going away. Solar capacity is expected to more than double over the next five years, with annual installations reaching 14 million kilowatts by 2023, according to GTM Research.