Some recent solar industry factoids show that the solar power industry is growing, prices are coming down and the pace is quickening.
A solar PV system is now installed every four minutes
According to recent research, the US is now installing one photovoltaic system every four minutes. If the market continues to grow at this pace, by 2016 there will be a solar energy system installed every 20 seconds. This is huge growth since 2006, when one was installed every 80 minutes.
Nearly three-quarters of all solar capacity worldwide was installed since January 2011. It’s even more impressive because, the preceding four decades only saw 50 gigawatts of solar power installed worldwide, according to recent studies. The surveys show solar energy employment in the US has increased by 20%
US solar industry has grown 53%
According to Washington DC-based nonprofit research organization, The Solar Foundation, the US solar industry has grown 53% in the last four years, adding nearly 50,000 jobs. Currently, there are more than 143,000 people employed by the solar industry today.
Prices of solar panels have decreased by 60%
According to Rhone Resch, the president and chief executive of the Solar Energy Industries Association, the prices of solar panels have decreased 60% since 2012. “We’ve been on a cost decline over the last four or five years”
New lease agreements that are available in some states have also increased the demand for solar panels. Under these deals, a homeowner doesn’t have to pay any money upfront and essentially leases the equipment for 20 years. The homeowner isn’t on tap for the costs of any repairs and maintenance of the panels, but is locked into a long term agreement.
According to Resch the typical escalation rate on solar energy is 1% per year compared to the 5% to 7% increase electric companies pass on to customers each year.