The U.S. solar power industry continues to expand at an impressive pace. More than 2 gigawatts of solar power was installed in the second quarter of 2016 alone.
According to the Solar Energy Industries Association in conjunction with GreenTech Media, the utility, commercial, and residential solar industries managed to install 2,051 megawatts of solar photovoltaics for the second quarter of this year. This was a very respectable 43 percent more than Q2 of 2015.
Even more amazing is the fact that more solar power is expected to be installed by the end of this year that has ever been completed in a single year. That figure includes approximately another 8 gigawatts. It appears the trend in solar is acceleration rather than just keeping pace.
The following image, thanks to SEIA/GTM Research, highlights solar’s incredible expansion through the past 5 years.
In addition to the very notable milestone of 1 million residential installations completed earlier this year, the utility solar industry is also picking up the pace as well. In fact, 53 percent of all solar installed so far this year was utility-scale.
Tom Kimbis, SEIA’s interim president had this to say of these recent solar developments – “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. While it took us 40 years to hit 1 million U.S. solar installations, we’re expecting to hit 2 million within the next two years. 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.”
American has now installed more than 30 gigawatts of solar power. Much of that has come in recent years and the trends show that much more will follow real soon.
Here’s a few more bullet points for the recent advancements in the solar industry –
- With 650 megawatts for 2016, residential solar grew 29 percent compared to 2015.
- More than 1 gigawatt of utility-scale solar was completed for the third quarter in a row.
- Solar prices are 18 percent lower than they were in 2015.
- 70 percent of new capacity this year will come from utility-scale solar, with a total of 13.9 gigawatts for all market segments by the end of the year.
It’s fair to say that even with all of this substantial solar activity, we are still very early days for this industry. Solar has yet to be adopted in every corner of the country and in significant ways as well. After all, it still supplies a very small percentage of the country’s total electricity needs. However, if the surge in solar power adoption continues, it will become a major player in the energy industry before too long.
So here’s to another very optimistic solar report. There’s much more good solar news on the way!