How Solar Energy is Taking Over America



Ten years ago, the solar industry was pretty much nonexistent in the U.S. Between 1984 and 2008, there was almost no solar activity, with the exception of the a large soar thermal power plant in the Mojave Desert that was completed in 1984.



As costs quickly dropped for solar energy, that all changed and solar panel prices fell as well. Today, solar power plants are actually competing with fossil fuels on a cost-per-KW-hr basis to provide energy to the grid, and homeowners are now starting to create their own power from the sun.



The biggest reason why solar energy is growing is because it is competitive with other energy sources. Costs are now falling to the point where solar energy has made up 74% of the new electricity generation built in the U.S. in the first quarter of this year.



Installations rose 41% in 2013, to 4,751 MW and in the first quarter of 2014, they grew 79% to 1,330 MW, according to GTM Research.



The amount of power coming from solar power plants has grown in turn with the rise in installations. The Energy Information Administration reported that utility solar power hitting the grid will soon pass 2,000 MW-hrs per month, or enough to power over 67,000 homes, and that number is growing rapidly.



Solar energy is accounting for more and more of the new electricity generating capacity in America each year. It accounted for nearly 22% of new power plants built last year and that doesn’t include the nearly 2 GW of distributed power on residential and solar rooftops.



The percentage of new capacity grew to a massive 74%, as costs continued to fall and large plants came online in the first quarter of this year.



solar energy

Image: GTM Reserach


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Source: NASDAQ