More than 500 solar industry professionals gathered to attend GTM's 9th annual Solar Summit 2016 conference in Scottsdale, Arizona. During a panel hosted by GTM Research Associate Director Cory Honeyman, attendees voted on a number of questions about the direction of the solar industry, from the future of net metering to the commercial market’s struggles.

Over a third of attendees voted that the U.S. will reach 10 million solar installations by 2020, a goal that can only be attained with unprecedented growth over the next four years. Given the current state of the market, that would mean an average of 2.25 million installations over each of the next four years. To put this into perspective, there were about 300,000 installations in 2015.

The majority of attendees predicted the 10-million mark will be reached between 2020 and 2030, which is plausible given GTM Research’s near-term growth outlook, but which would rely on favorable net-metering rules in a number of key growth states, such as New York and California.

An overwhelming 77 percent of attendees indicated that reforms to net metering pose the greatest threat to rooftop solar growth, more so than the phase-down of the federal Investment Tax Credit, the growth in community solar programs, or the loss of state incentives.

During a discussion on sources of capital for solar projects, Dirk Michels of Ballard Spahr said there are few lessons to be learned from the SunEdison demise and warned the industry to not overreact to the situation.