That’s right — a new solar installation is going up every 82 seconds in the U.S.!
The number of people going solar just keeps growing. More solar is expected to come online in the second half of 2016 than we’ve ever installed before in one whole year.
That’s the latest from the new Solar Market Insight Report. The report is published quarterly by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and GTM Research.
Solar is getting bigger all the time
The U.S. installed 43% more solar in Q2 2016 than in the same quarter last year. What’s more, in the first half of 2016, solar accounted for 26% of all new electric generating capacity that came online in the U.S.
That’s a lot of solar power.
What’s fueling this? For one thing, solar costs keep dropping. According to the new report, solar prices are 18% lower than they were in 2015 and 63% lower than they were 5 years ago. That includes utility-scale solar, where prices are lower — but costs have come down for all parts of the market, including residential solar.
Another interesting finding: the report expects 100 megawatts (MW) to come from community solar in 2016. That’s enough to power about 20,000 homes! And it’s important because many people can’t put panels on their own roof. With new options coming online for community solar, we have a feeling that number will grow even more than reports predict.
Overall, GTM Research forecasts that in 2016, solar PV installations in the U.S. will be up 85% over 2015. That’s a big jump!
Residential solar is going strong
The report looks at all parts of the solar picture: utility-scale, commercial, and residential solar. All of these areas are growing fast, and residential solar is no exception. That part of the market had its largest quarter ever, growing 29% from the same quarter last year.
That’s not all! The residential market segment hit a major milestone earlier this year: one million rooftop solar installations. It took us 40 years to get to that milestone — but it will take just 2 years to get to the next million.
Tom Kimbis, SEIA’s interim president, explained, “That record-breaking growth is made possible by solar’s cost-competitiveness and the vast benefits it provides consumers, our nation’s economy and environment.”
Solar is growing across more states
California usually tops the list of great states for solar. But now, a lot more states are getting in on the solar action.
In Q2, California accounted for 42% of rooftop solar installations. That sounds like a lot. But the percentage is down from past quarters — because states like Utah and Texas are starting to install more solar.
In the first half of 2016 alone, 11 states added more than 25 megawatts (MW) of solar. To put that in perspective, 25 MW can power about 5000 average homes.
By 2021, the report projects, more than 30 states in the U.S. will add over 100 MW of annual capacity. And 20 states will have more than 1 GW of total operating solar PV — that’s enough to power about 200,000 homes in each of those states.
As Kimbis said, “Solar works in all 50 states and this report proves that what many would consider non-traditional markets are now firmly a part of the clean energy movement.”
Will you be the next one going solar?
According to the new report, in the second half of this year, solar will get even bigger. That’s because of things like new types of projects, plus more support of solar from states around the country.
Let’s face it — the American people want solar power. Using clean power from the sun just makes sense.
If you’re interested in going solar, contact a MyDomino energy savings concierge. Your concierge will help you see if solar makes sense for your home and your family.
Whether or not solar works for you, your concierge will also help you take other clean energy actions. From a clean power plan to LED bulbs to smart thermostats, there’s something for everyone. Find out what makes sense for you!