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Despite economic setbacks, U.S. solar will continue to grow

Luminalt solar installers Pam Quan moves a solar panel during an istallation on the roof of a home on May 9, 2018 in San Francisco, California.
A Luminalt employee installing a rooftop solar panel. Photo: Justin Sullivan via Getty Images

Solar energy has experienced rapid growth in the U.S. — from essentially no share of the nation's generation only 7 years ago to 1.5% of the total by 2016's end.

What to watch: In the medium term, solar energy will face significant headwinds in the form of tariffs, tax code changes and diminishing incentives, which threaten to reduce its cost-competitiveness. Despite these challenges, investors and developers remain bullish on solar’s long-term potential, with installed capacity projected to more than double in less than 5 years.