Solar Energy in the U.S. – Where are we and where are we going?
July 2, 2018
Solar energy in the United States has been in existence for quite some time. The first photovoltaic effect was discovered in 1839 and the first commercial use of solar began around the 1950’s when Bell Labs produced solar cells for space activities. With technological development solar has progressed substantially over the years. Especially over the past few years. It is now quite common to see rooftop solar panels and solar farms throughout the nation.
As of June, 2018, the U.S. installed 2.5 gigawatts (GW) of solar PV capacity in Q1 2018 to reach 55.9 gigawatts (GW) of total installed capacity, enough to power 10.7 million American homes. This represents a 13% increase year-over-year.
The cost to install solar has dropped by more than 70% since 2010, allowing the industry to grow dramatically over the last few years. This downfall in price has given the solar industry the opportunity to expand into new markets and deploy thousands of systems nationwide. Solar energy has become a major player in the US economy. Since 2010, the number of people working in the solar industry has doubled.
The many energy enthusiasts seeking clean energy through the use of solar panel systems have help to drive the market. However, more recently people have been installing them as a form of investment. The growth of competition has caused prices to fall. Over the last 10 years, prices have dropped over 60%. We have surpassed the idea that this is an “environmentally friendly” energy solution. Solar is now a legitimate form of investment.
Where are we going?
The solar industry has such momentum there is very little that will be able to slow it down. Statistics show that continuing growth and development of solar panel systems for both residential and commercial use is inevitable.
In May 2015, the MIT Energy Initiative released a study on “The Future of Solar Energy” to assess how solar energy could grow efficiently and robustly in the U.S. It was observed that that there was a general trend. That trend was the fact that the cost of solar power tends to be lower than expected, and the deployment of solar power tends to be higher than expected. According to SEIA, the total installed U.S. PV capacity is expected to more than double over the next five years, and by 2023, over 14 GW of PV capacity will be installed annually.
New technological breakthroughs occur daily and it is expected that solar panels will continue to be even more efficient, cheaper and easier to produce.
Are you ready for solar?
With all of these great statistics many people are investing in solar for their homes and businesses. Solar provides incentives such as saving money with lower electric bills, independence from utilities, and having a positive impact on the environment.
Reach out to Infiniti’s experts who have many years of experience and knowledge about the solar industry. They will be able to answer any question or concern you may have about a solar installation and after that you will be ready for a free analysis!