Solar is Growing At An Exponential Rate in America
-A sunny location (like Los Angeles, California, US) receives an average of 5.5 hours of sunlight per day each year.
-A cloudy location (like Hamburg, Germany) receives 2.5 hours per day of sunlight each year.
-Solar modules produce electricity even on cloudy days, usually around 10-20% of the amount produced on sunny days.
-Monthly average residential consumption of electricity in the US in 2008 was 920 kilowatt hours. Monthly average residential electricity bill in the US in 2008 was $103.67 (Source: US DOE).
-The US solar market is forecast to grow to more than 22.3 GW by the end of 2014.
-The solar industry employs more than 143,000 Americans who work at more than 6,100 companies, the vast majority being small businesses, in all 50 states.
In 2013, a new solar energy project was installed in the U.S. every 4 minutes!
-The U.S. solar industry grew by 53% from 2012 to 2013 making it one of the fastest growing sectors in the U.S. economy. The industry installed 5.2 GW of solar electric (PV and CPV) capacity in 2013.
-There is enough solar energy installed in the U.S. to power more than 3 million households!
In the first half of 2014, solar energy accounted for over 50% of all new U.S. power generation!
-Over the last 20 years the cost of solar energy systems has come down seven fold!
-Surging demand has dropped solar module prices approximately 75% in just the past three years, with another 50% expected over the next three (Source: Navigant Consulting and other market data).
-This mirrors the cost decreases seen with cell phones, digital cameras, flat-screen technologies —and follows the rule of thumb in electronics manufacturing that costs decrease 20% each time production volume doubles.
-Those favorable technology prices combined with business efficiencies have delivered increasing value to consumers.
Solar power in the U.S. now exceeds 15 Gigawatts (GW), enough to power more than 3 million homes!
-Continued industry growth enhances our energy security and diversifies our domestic energy portfolio.
-An investment in solar is an investment in jobs. Solar investments create more jobs per megawatt than any other energy resource, (Source: UC Berkeley Energy Resources Group). 143,000 Americans are currently working in the U.S. solar industry (more than coal mining or steel & iron manufacturing). Solar businesses added 6,735 new workers in all 50 states since August 2010, which represents a 6.8 percent growth rate.
-During the same 12-month period, jobs in the overall economy grew by a mere 0.7 percent, while fossil fuel electric generation lost 2 percent of its workforce, (Source: Solar Foundation’s National Solar Jobs Census – 2011).
-Over the next year a majority of solar energy companies plan to add employees. According to the National Solar Jobs Consensus issued by The Solar Foundation, a nonprofit focused on education, research, and market transformation of the solar industry. Solar industry employers expect to increase their workforce by 24% in the next year, creating 24,000 new jobs.
-More than 500,000 solar PV systems are currently installed in the U.S.
-More than 16.8 million metric tons of CO2 are reduced each year thanks to installed solar power. This is the same as taking 3.5 million vehicles off the road or 1.9 billion gallons of gasoline not used!