Since 2009, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has published an annual report outlining some of the green industry’s achievements over the previous year.

7 years ago, these renewable energy statistics were mildly interesting. Solar power and wind energy were still drops in the bucket.

But this year is a little different. NREL’s 2015 Renewable Energy Data Book is chock-full of amazing statistics that illustrate how far we’ve come as a nation.

Below are just some of the cooler facts from the most recent report:

  • Green energy now accounts for 16.7% of America’s total installed electricity capacity.
  • Renewable energy is the fastest growing segment of newly added electricity capacity. In 2015, clean power represented 64% of all new energy across the board.
  • Solar power increased by 36% in 2015. And it accounted for roughly 40% of all the new renewable energy brought onto the grid.
  • California remains the undisputed leader in green tech, with an estimated 31 GW of renewable energy capacity.
  • Total US energy consumption actually decreased from 2014 to 2015. That’s remarkable given all of the power-hungry gadgets Americans love to use.
  • Solar PV power is the fastest growing renewable energy technology on the planet.
  • Global clean power investments approached $330 billion in 2015.

What Do All of These Renewable Energy Statistics Really Mean for You?

Facts and stats are fun to read. But what do the above numbers mean for you in the here and now?

There are several ways to interpret these renewable energy statistics. But our main takeaway is that green power is clearly here to stay. Solar PV panels and wind turbines are no longer “fringe” technologies reserved for the super elite. They have entered the mainstream, thanks to their cost effectiveness, scalability, and sustainability.

This is especially true of solar.

Whereas wind turbines take a fair amount of financing (and land), anyone can install PV panels on their property – even those on a tight budget. If you don’t own your property, you always have the option of investing in a community solar garden.

The green revolution is here to stay. And it’s open to anyone who wants to participate.

That’s why the National Renewable Energy Laboratory is able to publish statistics like these. As America continues to scale back fossil fuel use, cleaner forms of power are rushing in to replace traditional oil, natural gas, and coal.

We’re eager to see NREL’s next report. If current trends hold, 2016 promises to be another record-breaking year for the country’s renewable energy industry.

To learn how you can be a part of this history, contact us today for a fair and honest solar quote.