Better financing options are helping money flow into the industry and cutting capital costs for solar project developers, according to Bloomberg Industries. Investments fell just shy of $130 billion in 2013, down 28 percent from a 2011 peak.
Improvements in battery storage — thanks largely to rising electric vehicle sales — and lower-cost domestic solar panels may boost the industry to its next phase of maturity. Auto producers are partnering with solar companies, including Nissan with SunPower and Tesla with SolarCity, to store solar power with batteries.
Global solar energy growth remains dependent on government support. Any subsidy cuts in leading markets, such as China or Japan, may restrict demand for solar equipment producers.
Left: The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, in the Mojave Desert, near Primm, Nevada.
Watch for updates from the BNEF Future of Energy Summit.