The sun is definitely shining on the Utah solar industry!
Although natural gas is still the largest source of energy in our state, photovoltaic power has enjoyed an incredible surge in popularity over the last few years.
At the end of 2014, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) reported that Utah ranked 28th in the country for installed solar capacity. Less than two years later, our state is now in the 16th spot, with 262 megawatts (MW) of photovoltaic power.
Last year, however, Utah ranked 8th nationally for the amount of new photovoltaic capacity. A whopping 231 megawatts (MW) of solar electric capacity was installed in 2015. That’s an increase of 1,538 percent just since 2014!
Much of the state’s photovoltaic growth has been in the utility and commercial sectors. However, residential installations also are increasing exponentially. According to a report from the Utah Geological Survey (UGS), just 153 renewable energy tax credits for new photovoltaic systems were filed in Utah in 2009.
In 2015, that number jumped to 3,174, and 94 percent was for residential systems.
As the solar market has grown, so have the number of photovoltaic industry jobs in our state. In fact, the Solar Jobs Census report ranks Utah at 19th in the country for solar employment.
Utah’s photovoltaic job market grew by roughly 30 percent in 2015. At the last count, 83 companies involved with the industry supply chain employed 2,679 people. And this year, another 665 jobs are expected to be added. Statewide, employment in the photovoltaic industry is projected to increase by another 24.8 percent.
These statistics are quite impressive when compared to the projected national photovoltaic job growth of 14.7 percent, or the overall Utah state job growth rate of 1.9 percent.
Harnessing the power of the sun for electricity has never been more affordable for homeowners and businesses in Utah. Photovoltaic panel costs have fallen steadily over the last few years, leading to significant price drops for professionally installed systems.
Since 2015, the costs for a photovoltaic installation have dropped more than 10 percent.
This price reduction is primarily the result of a wider range of available financing options, including bulk purchasing programs, energy-efficient mortgages and private loans through installation companies. As a result, more consumers can afford to make the switch to photovoltaic power.
If you are ready to join the other Utah residents who have slashed their power bills and established energy independence, give Intermountain Wind & Solar a call to schedule your free estimate. We serve customers throughout the Intermountain West, but we are proud to call Utah home and to be a major contributor to the growing photovoltaic industry.
We look forward to hearing from you and showing you how, in Utah, solar power can benefit you.
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