The Solar Energy Industry Shines in New Report

Solar Energy GrowthIt’s been a great few years for the solar energy industry, and the good news keeps on coming. According to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC’s) Energy Infrastructure Update, solar energy has accounted for all new utility electricity generation capacity added to the U.S. grid in March. In just the month of March 2013, more than 44 megawatts of new solar electric capacity was introduced from a total of seven projects across the U.S.

For the first quarter of 2013, solar energy added 537 megawatts of installed capacity which is up from 264 megawatts of installed capacity in the first quarter of 2012. Even better, coal, nuclear power, and oil did not provide any new generating capacity so far this year. In total, 1,886 megawatts of new domestic electrical generating capacity was installed in the first quart of this year, and 82% of it was from renewable energy sources. Solar accounted for 28% of all new installed generating capacity, giving the solar energy industry a glimmer of excitement.

There have been great strides in the solar energy industry since 2008 in both the affordability of solar energy systems and in new initiatives and legislations which help make solar a great choice for many residents and businesses. The amount of solar energy powering U.S. homes and businesses has grown by over 600% in the past 5 years, and the new FERC update suggests that solar can grow to be the nation’s largest new source of energy over the course of the next four years.

In just the past year alone, the U.S. solar market grew by 76% according to the Solar Energy Industries Association. Solar InstallationsNew research from Stanford University also suggests that the amount of energy produced by solar power around the world has finally surpassed the energy required to make more solar power modules. Due to better design and manufacturing methods, less energy is required to produce and install solar PV systems and residents and business owners are getting more energy efficiency from their solar energy systems, making solar a viable and affordable energy option.

Because of the nation’s desire to address climate change, the inefficient cost of traditional energy for our residents, and state and federal initiatives and incentives for utilizing renewable energy sources, the solar industry has grown by leaps and bounds. It’s not hard to foresee that clean energy sources like solar, wind, hydro, and biomass will provide the bulk of U.S’s electrical needs in the next decade.

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