Photovoltaic energy is far from new. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of
Energy, people have been using the sun’s power for thousands of years.
Technology has certainly improved from these early years, but photovoltaic solar power
really hasn’t been a competitive energy source — until now.
Energy experts believe that solar power has finally grown sufficiently to become a viable
challenge to conventional energy sources like coal, natural gas and electricity. These
same experts assure us that PV energy is absolutely the power of the future.
Growth in Solar Energy
The photovoltaic industry has experienced an incredible surge of growth over the last
The latest US Solar Market Insight report from the Solar Energy Industries Association
(SEIA) indicates that photovoltaic energy systems totaling 7,260 megawatts of power
were installed in 2015. That’s up 16 percent over 2014. Most of this growth has been in
the residential sector, which had 66 percent more installations than last year. But
utility-based solar also had a record year, with growth of 6 percent.
Last year also marked another first for solar power.
Solar energy accounted for 29.4 percent of all new electric generating capacity
installations in the country. This is the first time that photovoltaic system installations
outpaced natural gas.
The Affordability of Solar Energy
So why is photovoltaic energy growing by leaps and bounds?
Price is unquestionably the biggest factor. The SEIA research shows that overall system
costs continue to decrease. In 2015, prices fell by up to 17 percent, depending upon the
market segment. And this isn’t anything unusual — national average prices dropped by
up to 12 percent in 2014 and by up to 16.3 percent in 2013.
Adopting solar power has become much more affordable due in large part to the federal
tax credit available today. It provides a 30 percent credit for new photovoltaic energy
system installations, which can bring costs down by many thousands of dollars.
Photovoltaic Energy’s Market Outlook
At the end of 2015, over 900,000 individual photovoltaic energy projects delivered
power across the country.
By this time next year, the United States will have well over 1 million solar installations.
Another 16 gigawatts of photovoltaic power are forecasted by SEIA to be added this
year, increasing the total by 120 percent.
As last year was the fourth consecutive year in which the residential market grew by
over 50 percent, this sector is expected to have another banner year. Significant growth
is also anticipated in the utility market — nearly triple the number of installations,
according to the report.
By 2021, more than half of all states are expected to produce more than 100 megawatts
of photovoltaic power annually throughout all sectors.
Experts agree, however, that pricing can’t fall too much farther than it already has. In
addition, the solar tax credit and many regional and local rebate programs are
scheduled to expire in next few years.
There is no time like the present to choose photovoltaic energy to power the future of
your home or business. Not only will you save money on power every month, you will
establish your own energy independence. As electric utility rates continue their
explosive trend upward, your savings will grow year after year.
Contact Intermountain Wind & Solar today to schedule a solar energy consultation.
Based in Northern Utah, we serve commercial and residential customers throughout the
Intermountain West region. We look forward to showing you how photovoltaic energy
can change your financial future.