The report is timed with the solar community’s launch of the #MillionSolarStrong campaign, which celebrates the fact that the industry has raced past a million installations and is rapidly accelerating toward 2 million.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The million solar systems now installed in the United States provide enough electricity to power the entire state of Pennsylvania, according to a report issued by the George Washington Solar Institute. The report is timed with the solar community's launch of the #MillionSolarStrong campaign, which celebrates the fact that the industry has raced past a million installations and is rapidly accelerating toward 2 million.
#MillionSolarStrong, which has been more than 40 years in the making, recognizes rooftop and utility-scale projects alike, built in cities and in rural America, in high-income and low-income zip codes, with voters far to the right and far to the left, and everything in between. And in every case solar provides communities with clean energy, jobs, economic activity and tax revenue. This trend will only continue as Americans continue to adopt solar at record rates.
"The idea that we are celebrating a million solar installations in this country is remarkable, given we had just a couple thousand when I started here a dozen years ago," said Rhone Resch, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). "This accomplishment is made all the more stunning with the projections indicating we will hit 2 million installations before the end of 2018. Our meteoric growth is driven by the fact that solar is one of the lowest cost options for electricity and it has been embraced by people who care about the environment and want to choose where their energy is coming from."
In addition to the GW Solar Institute report, the solar community is launching a massive social media push with close to 100 million expected impressions. The social media offerings will feature photos and videos from some of the people behind the #MillionSolarStrong campaign and we expect several high-profile individuals and organizations to chime in from across the ideological spectrum. Stay tuned for other announcements later this week.
Key points from the George Washington Solar Institute report are that:
• installation costs for solar have dropped more than 70 percent in the last decade;
• solar jobs have grown more than 123 percent in the last five years, making solar one of the bright spots in the economy; and
• the million installations have cut enough carbon to equal all of Oregon's emissions.
The 1 million installations generate enough electricity to power more than 5.9 million homes, and continued growth in solar means that by 2020, America will generate enough electricity to power 20 million homes. All told there are 209,000 Americans working in solar jobs, and that number is expected to double to 420,000 by 2021.
Celebrating its 42nd anniversary in 2016, the Solar Energy Industries Association® is the national trade association of the U.S. solar energy industry. Through advocacy and education, SEIA® is building a strong solar industry to power America. As the voice of the industry, SEIA works with its 1,000 member companies to champion the use of clean, affordable solar in America by expanding markets, removing market barriers, strengthening the industry and educating the public on the benefits of solar energy. Visit SEIA online at www.seia.org.