The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
U.S. Generates Enough Electricity From Solar to Power 4.6 Million Homes
Solar energy is on the upsurge, representing 40 percent of all new electric generating capacity brought on-line in the first half of 2015, according to a new report today from GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).
The Q2 2015 edition of the U.S. Solar Market Insight Report revealed the U.S. solar industry installed 1,393 megawatts (MW) of photovoltaics (PV) during the second quarter of 2015, bringing total solar capacity nationwide to 22.7 gigawatts (GW).
We now have enough solar installed in the U.S. to power 4.6 million homes and the momentum for solar is just beginning. Because of solar’s cost competitiveness, the demand for solar energy is now higher than ever.
According to the report, 729 MW of utility-scale solar PV—the lion’s share of new solar capacity—came on-line. Homeowners also spurred the residential market to set a quarterly record with 473 MW of solar PV.
For perspective on the uptick of homeowners adopting solar, a total of 10 states installed more than 10 MW of residential solar during the quarter. Only four states installed that much of residential solar during the same time in 2013.
Thanks to the solar investment tax credit (ITC), which was passed in 2006, prices for utility-scale solar have fallen 64 percent since 2010, while the average price of a residential PV installation is now 48 percent lower than 2010.
In fact, since the ITC was enacted, more than 22 GW of solar capacity have come on-line. That’s 97 percent of all solar capacity ever installed.
More solar will be installed in one week in 2015 than was installed in all of 2006 and that has translated into the creation of more than 150,000 new solar jobs over that time period.
More than ever, this report shows how crucial it is for America to maintain smart, effective, forward-looking public policies, like the ITC.
An additional 16.6 GW of utility-scale solar is in the development pipeline—40 percent of which has been procured based purely on cost competitiveness with fossil fuels.
With the ITC scheduled to drop at the end of 2016, that progress is threatened.
As an industry, we’re strongly urging lawmakers to support extending the ITC to ensure that solar remains one of America’s fastest-growing energy sources for years to come.
America deserves a level playing field among energy producers so that we can continue diversifying our power sources, offering more consumer choices and boosting the national economy.
The U.S. installed 2.7 GW of PV in the first six months of 2015. With significant growth expected in the second half of the year, the U.S. is on pace for a record-breaking 7.7 GW year.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
For 21 years, Doug Distaso served his country in the United States Air Force.
He commanded joint aviation, maintenance, and support personnel globally and served as a primary legislative affairs lead for two U.S. Special Operations Command leaders.
But after an Air Force plane accident left him with a traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and chronic pain, Distaso was placed on more than a dozen prescription medications by doctors at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
By Bailey Hopp
If you had to choose a diamond for your engagement ring from below or above the ground, which would you pick … and why would you pick it? This is the main question consumers are facing when picking out their diamond engagement ring today. With a dramatic increase in demand for conflict-free lab-grown diamonds, the diamond industry is shifting right before our eyes.
The scourge of plastic waste that washes up on once-pristine beaches and finds its way into the middle of the ocean often starts on land, is dumped in rivers and canals, and gets carried out to sea. At the current rate, marine plastic is predicted to outweigh all the fish in the seas by 2050, according to Silicon Canals.
By Julia Conley
Joined by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Friday night, Sen. Bernie Sanders held the largest rally of any 2020 Democratic presidential candidate to date in Iowa, drawing more than 2,400 people to Iowa Western Community College in Council Bluffs.
More than 130 wildfires were burning on Australia's East Coast Sunday, The Guardian reported. The blazes have killed three and destroyed at least 150 structures so far, and conditions are expected to worsen Tuesday, when the greater Sydney area will face "catastrophic fire danger" for the first time.