We’ve already seen this trend happen with computers, the Internet, smartphones, and countless other breakthroughs. These inventions enjoy very limited penetration in the beginning. But as more people buy-in, prices fall and that innovation reaches a critical tipping point.
Well, according to researcher and economist, Brewster McCracken, it looks like solar penetration could be approaching that 15% threshold. And once we reach that tipping point, photovoltaic (PV) technology will become truly unstoppable.
Let’s take a look.
Reaching 15% Solar Penetration Nationwide
Currently, solar PV power represents roughly 1% of America’s electricity capacity. That’s a laughably small number.
And yet, the solar industry continues to enjoy double-digit growth year after year. In fact, the solar sector added more new jobs in 2015 than natural gas did.
Explaining why this trend is happening is fairly easy:
- Climate change is a very real concern for many Americans. And going solar is one of the most effective ways to reduce one’s carbon footprint.
- Utility rates keep trending upwards, with no end in sight. Those who install PV panels, however, can reduce their reliance on the grid and shield themselves from future price hikes.
- Solar installation costs continue to fall every year. As a result, it’s becoming easier for average homeowners and businesses to finance new PV installations.
Because of these 3 trends, solar continues to enjoy tremendous popularity. And in some markets (i.e. Hawaii, Arizona, and California), solar penetration is way above 1%. In fact, the adoption rate in these “sunshine” states is at or approaching 15%.
Equally important, more cities and states across the nation are approaching solar grid parity – the point at which installing panels is equal to (or cheaper than) continued reliance on traditional utility networks.
This trend will only continue for the foreseeable future.
So the question is….
When Will We Reach 15% Solar Penetration?
Solar is becoming more mainstream – but it’s not 100% ubiquitous yet. In fact, it may not reach the tipping point for many more years. But it’ll get there sooner or later. The transition is inevitable, with many experts predicting that solar PV will become the #1 source of electricity for the planet by 2050 – if not sooner.
Our own internal prediction is that we’ll reach the 15% tipping point within the next 10 years.
If you’d like to help America get there even sooner, contact us today for a free solar quote.