The U.S. installed 2,387 megawatts (MW) of solar PV in Q2 2017 to reach 47.1 gigawatts (GW) of total installed capacity, enough to power 9.1 million American homes. This represents an 8% increase over the same quarter last year, and the industry is poised to install more than 12 GW of solar capacity before the end of 2017. (SEIA). To put this into perspective, 12 GW (12 billion watts) represents around 40,000,000 individual solar panels installed over three months. Over the course of the year, utility rates have risen 3.2%.
The big drivers of solar installation on such a scale are the ever more affordable pricing on solar panels and the flexible financing choices. In this era of low cost-solar equipment, federal residential and business tax credits, net metering (the crediting of excess power generated to the customer), renewable energy certificates (SRECs) and rising energy costs, the solar power options for home or business have to be seriously considered.
The time to diversify our country’s energy portfolio has come. For the past decade, solar has proven to be a cost effective and rewarding investment for consumers and businesses alike.