A Solar Installation Was Being Completed Every Four Minutes in America

In 2013, we reported that a solar installation was being completed every four minutes in America. Installation volumes have increased considerably since then.

According to new data from GTM Research, the U.S. solar industry completed a project every two and a half minutes in 2014. Those installations were a result of $15 billion in investment.

The growth was led by the residential sector, where 200,000 systems were affixed to rooftops around the country. That’s up from 50,000 residential systems in 2011 — fourfold growth in the span of three years.

“Residential solar is the fastest-growing — and potentially the most transformative — sector of the solar market,” said Shayle Kann, senior VP of GTM Research.

solarsystemevery2minutes_580_329President Obama mentioned GTM Research’s statistic in his State of the Union address last year.

“It’s not just oil and natural gas production that’s booming; we’re becoming a global leader in solar, too. Every four minutes, another American home or business goes solar; every panel [is] pounded into place by a worker whose job can’t be outsourced,” said the president.

By the time President Obama mentioned the number, it had already fallen to a system being installed every three and a half minutes.

At the current pace, the U.S. will likely hit 900,000 cumulative installations across all sectors this year, and well over 1 million in 2016.

Ten years ago, a system was going up every two hours on average. By next year, the American solar industry could be completing an installation nearly every minute.

Solar Energy Savings

Solar panel systems allow you to protect against increasing utility prices and save money. Nevertheless, your 20-year solar savings rely on your geographical area.

There are several important variables that determine what you can save:

Electricity speeds: If your home is someplace with high electricity rates in comparison with other areas, your solar energy savings will be higher thanks to electricity prices that are avoided.

Financial incentives that are local: Solar funding: You will find three important solar funding options: cash purchases, loans that are solar, and solar leases/PPAs. Each choice offers another value proposition and long term yield.

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Edges of solar energy:

The example below illustrates what your fundamental savings might appear to be before using any local or state incentives, according to how you decide to fund your solar panel system.

With this scenario, we’ve supposed a a yearly electricity rate increase of three percent, and a monthly electric bill of $100. The net setup price equals the overall price of going solar minus the 30 percent federal tax credit for solar.

Bear in mind that under the premises above you’d expect to pay your utility about $25,000 for your electricity over the next 20 years.

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These economies are only the start. In several cases, there will be local, state or utility software that can reduce your out-of-pocket costs as well as allow you to produce income from your own solar energy system:

According to your geographical area, it is possible to reduce your out-of-pocket costs with tax credits and cash rebates. Like the national investment tax credit (ITC) for solar, some states will let you deduct part of the price of your solar energy system out of your taxes. You may even qualify for a cash rebate, generally priced per watt, from utility or your state government.

They are able to significantly enhance the worth of your solar panel system while the cost of an SREC changes depending on your geographical area.

By going solar instances of the added monetary benefits you are able to receive are below. Nevertheless, remember that financial incentives change considerably from state to state. So that you can completely comprehend how much you are able to save by going solar, we advocate using EnergySage’s Solar Calculator to get a tailored approximation of your savings when you purchase (in cash or with a solar loan) or rent a solar energy system. SolarEnergy

How Solar Home Energy Systems Work

The vast majority of residential solar photovoltaic (PV) systems installed today are “grid-tied” systems. Instead of storing excess electricity in batteries, which can be expensive and require maintenance, grid-tied systems pipe any extra power back into the utility grid. In most states, homeowners receive credit for this excess power from their utility.

Here’s a cool diagram of how grid-tied solar home energy systems work, courtesy of GetSolar.

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As you can see, the solar panels generate DC power, which is then converted by the inverter into AC power for use in the home. Any excess electricity — sometimes called “net excess generation,” or NEG, by industry folks — is credited to the homeowners next electric bill. In the states that are best for solar power — like California, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Colorado, Hawaii, Maryland and Arizona — homeowners receive credit at the prevailing retail rate. That means if you buy electricity for $0.14/kWh, you’re entitled to “sell” your excess solar power at $0.14/kWh. Sometimes called “net metering,” this arrangement ensures that you, the homeowner, is fully compensated for all the energy your solar panels produce.