The Future of Solar

The Choose Energy Team
By The Choose Energy Team March 12th, 2014
For business

What is the future of Solar?

Recently, the SEIA (Solar Energy Industries Association) released their annual report for 2013, along with GTM research.

Without getting into the details, here are a few of the high points, along with our thoughts on the future of solar and what to expect from the solar industry.

2013 Annual Report

In 2013, 4751 MW of solar panels were installed in the US, which brings the total solar contribution to just ~13 GW. To put that number in perspective, that’s enough to power 2.2 Million homes.

There are 445,000 operating solar systems today, with nearly 150,000 of those installed in 2013 alone. That’s like a new solar rooftop installation every 4 minutes.

Here’s Why

The biggest driver of the increase in solar energy is the price. Solar has always had the expensive connotation. The notion of futuristic solar panels on a roof, has always seemed far out of reach, and until very recently, it was.

In just the past year, solar system prices have fallen nearly 10%, and are 99% cheaper than in 1976.

Additionally, until 2016, the US government will offer tax incentives, that can cover up to 30% of the solar installation cost.

With lower prices and great tax incentives, financing solar system installations are more feasible than ever. 

2014 and The Future of Solar

Due to increased popularity, better prices, and easy financing, we highly doubt solar is going away anytime soon. Although it still is only a fraction of a percent of the total US energy generation, in 2013, the new generation by fuel type of solar hit almost 30%, up from 10% in 2012.

This rapid growth shows that solar is becoming more wide-scale, and there are more larger solar systems being installed. We foresee more utility solar installations (which are up 58% from 2012) and more drastically more residential installations (which are up 60% since 2012).

In fact, solar growing at such a rate that it could become a significant factor in the total US energy generation

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