Already in the lead as the fastest-growing clean and renewable energy source in America, solar power is growing to account for 29% of new American electricity, trailing just behind natural gas at 46%.

Solar Power is Growing at a Rate Faster than Silicon Valley

Dan Hahn | Solar Power Rocks

Solar power is making a splash

Solar power is growing at such a rate that it had its hottest year for growth in the history of solar power, and the future still looks bright. According to Forbes top 25 growing business, solar is beating the tech company average as an industry.

Already in the lead as the fastest-growing clean and renewable energy source in America, solar power is growing to account for 29% of new American electricity, trailing just behind natural gas at 46%.

With the cost of solar power installations falling, and already down almost 10% from last year, there’s no question that the industry is growing rapidly. In the last year, solar power saw a massive 41% increase in installations. The previous 18 months solar’s growth outweighed its progress in the last 30 years.

Sunny Days for Solar

Changes in solar panel technology are making solar power installations easier, quicker, and cheaper. See how solar power has grown and changed in recent years:

The 80-Second Solar Power Installation

In 2006, a solar panel installation was occurring every 80 minutes. Now a solar power system is being set up every 4 minutes. By 2016 it will be every 80 seconds.

200 Gigawatts

In 2011, after 40 years of solar power, total installations were still only 50 Gigawatts. By 2012, they had doubled to more than 100 Gigawatts. By 2015, the size of global solar power should exceed 200 Gigawatts.

66%: Two-thirds of all solar projects worldwide were built in the past 2.5 years — the same proportion holds true in the United States.

The Top 4 Solar Power Countries

The US had 930 megawatts of solar power installations in the third quarter of 2013 alone. It now has more than 10 gigawatts of solar power and is one of only 4 countries in the world to pass that mark.

51%: While much of solar power still relies on state subsidies, 51% of California’s residential PV systems were installed without assistance from California’s Solar Initiative.

The Solar Power Industry Spends $1 Billion on Marketing and Sales

GTM research forecasts that more than $1 billion will be spent by the solar power industry to acquire customers. This will account for about 10% of the total cost of installations. In order to stay competitive, top solar panel companies are working hard to have the best sales and marketing processes. There’s still lots of room for innovation in this space.

Solar Power State Champions

Solar Power is spreading its way across every corner of America, but for now California is still in the lead for new installations. More than half of last year’s solar power growth was from California alone, generating 2,621 MW. Not far behind California were Arizona (421 MW) and North Carolina (335 MW). Together, these states, with Massachusetts and New Jersey made 81% of the 2013 installs, says SEIA and GTM research.

Markets for each state still have plenty of room to grow.

The Future of Solar Power

While 2017 will be a critical year for solar power, with the Federal solar power tax credit dropping from 30% to 10%, unless Obama is able to do something about it, even that won’t put a stop to the growth of solar installation. Today, there are already enough solar panel installs to power more than 2 million homes, and solar power is just starting to really ramp up. If things keep going this way, solar power might affect energy companies the way the internet killed the newspapers.

Solar power is growing faster than tech companies for a reason. It’s because regular folks are discovering that it’s not really a big expense. In fact it’s quite the opposite for folks in the hot solar power states. They can get solar power for zero down and save money from day one…and save a TON of money over the life of their solar lease or ppa. Get a quote from installers we trust by clicking here.

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