The solar industry in the United States has achieved staggering growth over the last decade. Despite the rapid market expansion the United States produces only 2% of the country’s electricity through solar power. This growth is not showing any signs of stopping though; in fact, it appears to be accelerating. Recent news indicates that the US is putting more faith in solar as a primary source of energy for the future.
In the first quarter of 2018 solar accounted for 55% of all new electricity added. This is up 13% from 2018 according to a report from the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). The renewable energy trend shows no signs of slowing down, not only in the United States but worldwide. All forms of renewable energy accounted for a record 12% of the world’s energy needs in 2017. Back in 2017 solar was the #1 type of new energy created, as reported by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). According to the authors of the UNEP report it attracted $160.8 billion in investment in 2017 alone. This represents an impressive 18% increase over 2016, a trend which seems to be carrying over into 2018.
Solar Energy Growth Easily Outpaces Fossil Fuels
The United States appears on the verge of an energy revolution, as the price of solar and other renewables continues to decrease. Investments in renewables show no signs of slowing down and the reduction in production costs should only continue. These factors combined continue to accelerate the domestic shift away from reliance on fossil fuels. Many experts think the tipping point will be when renewables are cheaper to produce than fossil fuels.
The cost of producing solar energy is rapidly declining while the cost for producing traditional energy sources are stagnant. It now costs only $50 to produce one mega-watt of solar power, while a traditional fossil fuel like coal costs in excess of $100 per mega-watt. Since 2009 there has been an 86% decrease in the cost to generate energy from utility-scale solar plants (which produce and feed electricity into the grid). Fossil fuels appear to be under continuous siege, as all forms of renewable energy continue to lower their production costs exponentially.
Based on this data the tipping point appears to have been reached and the energy revolution is already be here.
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