The US solar energy industry is booming, entering its “most prosperous decade ever” thanks to new federal and state policies, and positive global economies in the industry.
The US expects to install 14.5 gigawatts of solar power in 2016, which is a 94% increase over the record 7.5 gigawatts in 2015. For the first time, more solar systems came online than natural gas power plants.
“The rise of solar energy use, especially by homes and businesses with panels on their roofs, is gradually transforming the electricity industry. For more than a century, power plant owners and utilities have controlled the energy delivery service, and some of them enjoy a monopoly.
Declines in other sources of electricity generation has also helped solar’s growing popularity. The coal business suffered historic losses in 2015 as concern about its greenhouse gas emissions took hold. Just 3 megawatts of new coal generation came online in 2015, compared to about 2,600 megawatts for solar, according to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.” The Guardian
The US solar industry is also expected to add 30,000 jobs in 2016, becoming the fastest growing sector in the energy business. As solar generation currently accounts for only 1% of America’s electricity market, there is still a lot of opportunity for growth.
This growth in the solar energy industry is set to become mainstream. With countries across the world pledging to end fossil fuel subsidies, and solar power hitting new record highs in the UK, the future of solar energy is looking bright.