Have you noticed recently that you’re seeing a lot more solar energy panels on homes and businesses? If so, it’s not all in your head. Solar energy is a rapidly growing market for a wide variety of reasons, and both individual households as well as large businesses understand these trends and are keeping pace with the changes. If you don’t have a solar system yet, here’s why you should consider it.
In the first quarter of 2020, the U.S. installed 3.6 gigawatts (GW) of solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity—the largest first quarter on record. Added to the existing 77.8 GW capacity, there is now enough solar energy to power close to 16 million homes. While the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) expects the volume of solar installations to drop this year because of challenges related to COVID-19, solar still accounts for 40 percent of all new electricity-generating capacity. That’s a 10-fold increase from 2010, when solar installations accounted for just four percent, and has overtaken coal, natural gas, wind, and other sources for the second year in a row.
Another sign that solar energy is the future is the increasing number of utility photovoltaic projects. Solar energy remains one of the most competitive ways to generate new electricity, and a significant number of utility-scale solar PV arrays are either underway or contracted to be completed in the next five years.
Before the coronavirus hit, the 2020 forecast for solar energy was expected to be record-breaking. In the first quarter alone, there were 810 MW of residential solar capacity installed, making it the highest quarter in history, despite the first quarter of the year normally being lower due to seasonal cyclical demand trends, and remaining flat compared to Q4 2019, when a significant number of people were rushing to get panels installed to take advantage of tax incentives that are stepping down over the next two years. More and more homeowners are realizing the value of a system that generates green energy and prevents the surprises that can come with increases in your utility costs over time.
As with most new technologies, solar panels are become more efficient and can be made at a lower price than when they first hit the market. That translates to better energy efficiency for homeowners and commercial buildings that get the latest solar panel technology installed to capture energy and convert it to electricity. There are also plenty of innovative new technologies on the horizon, like building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) that can be seamlessly designed to blend into new building roof, walls, skylights, and facades (if you don’t like the look of the traditional solar panel array).
If you’re interested in learning more about solar, and how it could be the future of energy production for your residential, commercial, or industrial building, talk to Intermountain Wind and Solar today to find out how easy it can be.
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