American businesses continue to invest in solar power. In fact, commercial solar installations have increased 183 percent in the past four years, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.
While the commercial solar industry has not seen as much growth as the residential solar industry, business leaders continue to see great value in solar.
Blue chip companies are now investing in solar because it’s a double win – it’s cost effective and also helps them do their part to protect our environment. In addition to jobs created, the 1,700 commercial solar panel systems currently in use reduce CO2 emissions by 890,000 metric tons per year.
Walmart leads the pack with the most installed solar capacity. The next top installers include Prologis, Target, Apple, Costco, Kohl’s, and IKEA.
Here are some of the key figures attributed to commercial solar activity –
- 907 megawatts of solar installed – enough to power 158,000 homes.
- Walmart alone has installed more than 142 megawatts of solar.
- Businesses have installed 59 percent more solar this year than 2014.
- Prices for commercial solar pv systems have dropped 30 percent over the past 3 years.
- Commercial solar installations can now be found in 38 states. Arkansas, Kansas, and Indiana are joining the list this year.
- Carports are emerging as one of the quickest growing commercial solar areas.
Increased investment in solar power by these large companies also helps to drive pricing down further, which then makes it even more financially attractive for other businesses to go solar as well.
It should go without saying that it is vitally important that businesses invest in solar power and other sources of renewable energy. Companies account for one fifth of total energy usage in America. Eventually reducing our country’s carbon emissions by 20 percent is what our business leaders should have as a collective goal. Accomplishing this while being able to save money at the same time makes this realistically achievable.
News stories about companies going solar should be a big sign that solar’s time has finally come. While some companies truly want to do the right thing, the bottom line is that it also has to make financial sense as well.
Homeowners everywhere should take note. Most businesses will only invest in solar power if it saves them money. The same savings are, of course, possible with residential solar power. Due to economies of scale, solar pricing is slightly cheaper at the commercial level. However, significant savings can now be experienced with residential solar all across the country.
We can all look forward to more stories about businesses investing in solar power in the coming years.