The record setting number of solar panel installations in the first quarter of 2015 caught the attention of the industry, other industries and the nation. While we expected the public to celebrate lower pump prices, demand for solar panel installations spiked unexpectedly. Residential solar energy has arrived and Americans like it!
The June quarterly report from U.S. Solar Market Insight, a joint compilation by GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) gives heart to all solar energy advocates. The industry’s innovative strategies are paying off and everyone benefits.
Sure, utilities are complaining. But, let’s be real. Most have been overcharging for mediocre and limited services for years. The public is onto wasteful utilities and when proven, cost-effective options are knocking at the door, residential and commercial consumers are opening that door.
Americans Supporting Entrepreneurs
Solar energy industry players have ups and down, twists and turns. Utilities have tried to stymie growth by solar since its inception. As solar popularity has risen from energy neophyte status to a viable, cost-effective and proven energy source, utilities have unleashed every dirty trick in the book.
Unused to competition, utilities are ill-prepared to compete, instead resorting to “dirty tricks.” Desperate utilities try to intimidate consumers, government and businesses. It is time to stand up to utilities and their business practices.
As first quarter 2015 results demonstrate, a good many American homeowners and business owners are doing just that rather than succumb to giant utilities, Americans are staring them in the eye and challenging their policies and penalties. Competition and survival of the fittest is the American way.
So is entrepreneurialism. And, every solar provider, installer and developer is an entrepreneur, trying to deliver a better product than fossil-fuel-based, contaminating energy. Enter solar energy and an innovative group of entrepreneurs who have pieced the riddle together enabling residential and commercial buyers to convert to solar.
Big Numbers Cause For Optimism
More than 51% of the country’s new electric generating capacity came for solar in the first quarter 2015. This amazing statistic reflects consumers concerns and fears about climate change and the environment. Congress may be sitting on their hands, but not the US consumer!
New solar capacity added in Q1, 2015, outweighed new natural gas installations. Think about it!
The SEIA – GTM first quarter report indicates that residential solar panel installations increased by a whopping 76% from first quarter 2014 installations. Rooftop photovoltaic installations jumped 11%, the largest sequential growth on record.
The US gained 1.3GW of capacity in the first three months, typically the slowest quarter of the year. This marked the sixth consecutive quarter that solar power capacity expanded by more than 1GW.
Inspired by lowering residential installation costs that dropped $3.46 per watt on installed capacity during the first quarter, consumers jumped at installation opportunities. A host of elements have come together for the industry and savvy commercial and residential buyers are capturing savings, even in states that do not offer incentives above and beyond the incentives offered by the federal government.
The 2.2% reduction in residential installation is one such element. When compared to the first quarter 2014, the cost of solar system installations is down 10%.
Consumers have other incentives. With Congress wavering on every issue, there is unrest that the government will not extend the 30% investment tax credit for solar that was first offered in 2008 but which is due to expire in 2016.
Consumers like the 30% investment tax credit that has fueled installations to this point. While the residential market offers leasing and aggressive financing in addition to incentives offered by many states, the time to go solar is now. However, the SEIA reports that new installations in the first quarter received a lift from state’s that do not offer incentives.
Analysts say the new uptick is fueled by solar energy reaching price parity with traditional energy sources. Deutsche Bank projects that the cost to finance solar installations will decrease to about 5.4% in 2015. This marks a significant drop from the 2014 financing rate of 7.9%.
The strong first quarter solar panel installations have led analysts to predict that solar panel installations will rise by 24% in 2015. Photovoltaic installation capacity is projected to reach 7.9GW in 2015, up 27% from 2014.
The government’s SunShot Initiative reports that the cost of solar installations has dropped by a whopping 80% in the last five years. The SunShot goal for solar energy is that it reach and sustain price parity by 2020.
Wouldn’t you like to benefit from lowered installation costs, including interest rates and capture the 30% investment tax credit? The time is now!
Go solar today!