More Solar Energy Systems Installed in 18 Months than in Previous 30 Years
Solar power has grown in popularity over the past couple of years, so much so that installations of new panels and systems has outpaced the combined installs of the previous three decades.
In just the last 18 months, the U.S. has set up more solar energy systems than during the prior 30 years, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), a trade group.
Last year was particularly productive for solar developers.
Installations of new solar power systems during 2013 was up 41% over the previous year, resulting in 4,751 megawatts of energy.
Solar was responsible for 29% of all new electricity generated in 2013, up from 10% in 2012.
The alternative energy source is now the second-leading new source of electricity in the country, behind natural gas.
There were 140,000 individual solar installations in the U.S. in 2013, with a total market value of $13.7 billion. Today there are more than 445,000 solar systems in operation.
California installed more solar units than any other state in 2013; half of all such installations it ever added occurred last year. Texas, which ranks eighth in solar additions in 2013, has enough solar potential to power the world twice over.
The rush to embrace solar power has also brought the price down on new systems, which cost 15% less on average than in 2012.
Factors contributing to the success of solar power include “rapid customer adoption, grassroots support, improved financing terms, and public market successes,” according to SEIA.
To Learn More:
Solar Market Insight Report 2013 Year in Review (Solar Energy Industries Association)
U.S. Power Grid Unprepared for Renewable Energy (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
City of Lancaster Moves to Require Solar on Every New Home Roof (by Ken Broder, AllGov California)
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