How Popular Is Solar Energy?

Posted on: November 15, 2013

Solar energy, once a fringe technology only adopted by the most ardent of supporters, has quietly evolved into a common home improvement project for homeowners across the country. Just as granite countertops used to be a fringe home improvement project that evolved into an industry standard, solar energy too is becoming a must-have for many home remodeling projects.

In fact, Clean Technica had this to say about solar panel installations in a recent article:

Home solar panels are “the new granite countertops,” according to Tom Werner, CEO of US-based SunPower, one of the largest solar panel companies in the world. What does that mean? That means that, for an increasing number of new homeowners, solar panels are becoming an add-on right from the beginning. Furthermore, Werner is confident home solar panels will move beyond the “granite countertops phase” to mass adoption rather quickly.

“You’re going to see a transition from novelty, to granite countertops, to mainstream option,” Werner said. “We’re rapidly passing the equivalent of a ‘countertops decision’ to a ‘no-brainer.’ You just do it.”

Solar has steadily grown from no more than a few thousand systems in the early 2000s to more than 300,000 in 2012!

What Is Driving Solar Energy’s Growth?

Solar energy’s growth is largely being driven by dramatically lower prices. Look at the chart below:

 

As you can see from the chart, fewer than 5 megawatts (MW) were installed in the year 2000. In 2012, that number increased to 3,313 MW in 2012. The dramatic increase in solar installations correlates with the dramatic decrease in solar energy prices that started in 2009. Since 2009, the cost to install solar in the United States has decreased by approximately 60 percent and continues to decline every year.

How Popular Is Solar Energy in California?

California leads the U.S. in solar energy installations, both in number and production capacity.

According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), California  installed 438 MW of solar energy in Q2 2013 alone, nearly five times as much as the next closest state! If California were its own country, it would be among the world leaders for most installed solar capacity.

 

Solar in California was bolstered early by attractive government and utility incentive programs, but as funding for those programs dried up, price decreases have covered the gaps, keeping solar energy an attractive and smart financial investment for homeowners throughout the state.

Want to Learn More About Solar in San Diego?

If you want to learn more about solar installation in San Diego and the surrounding area for your home or business, give us a call or fill out a contact form on the right. Our solar technicians can discuss the options that are available to you, assess your home’s solar potential, and even provide you with production and return on investment estimates!

Contact us today to get started!