2013 Largest Year for Solar Yet

According to an article recently completed for the Solar Energy Industries Association website, 2013 was the largest year yet for installation of solar energy sources. The United States PV Markets installed four thousand seven hundred and fifty one megawatts, a figure that equates to a forty one percent increase over installation levels from 2012; two thousand one hundred and six megawatts of this total was installed in the fourth quarter alone. In general, solar installations accounted for twenty nine percent of all new electricity generation capacities added in 2013—a ten percent increase from the same statistic in 2012. This has earned solar power the title as the second largest source generating new electricity, falling behind natural gas.

One hundred and forty thousand units of solar power were installed throughout the course of 2013. Most of these were installed in the utility market; utility companies account for two thousand eight hundred forty seven megawatts of photovoltaic capacity and four hundred and ten megawatts of Concentrating Solar Power units installed.

It is believed the steady increase is attributable to the reduction in cost, making solar materials more affordable to every day homeowners. The national average cost of installing a PV or photovoltaic capacity system decreased fifteen percent, to two dollars and fifty-nine cents per watt. The average price of a solar panel also decreased, falling to cost sixty percent of what the purchase would’ve cost at its start in 2011.

All of this bodes well for solar energy’s potential in 2014. Approximately six thousand megawatts of PV systems are planned to come online, a figure which has the potential to show a twenty six percent increase in growth on the same statistic from 2013. Eight hundred and forty megawatts of CSP systems are expected to be commissioned as well. All of this equates to an increase in jobs and added positive effect on the economy at the hands of solar power. Currently, one hundred and forty three thousand American workers are employed via solar energy, a number that has increased twenty percent from 2012.

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