February 21, 2014 – Renewable energy had a very progressive year in 2013 and the solar industry was no exception. There is a solar revolution happening right now, a solar system was installed every four minutes in 2013! California even doubled its solar installations, installing more solar in 2013 than in the 30 years beforehand! The industry created about 24,000 new jobs and more households went solar in 2013 than ever before.
Though encouraging, these statistics are hardly representative of how far the solar industry has truly come, the environmental benefit is immeasurable. Now what can we expect from the industry for the rest of 2014? The forecast shows that it is going to be a BIG year!
- This year, the U.S. is projecting to install about 6 to 7 GW. The US installed about 4.2 GW (that’s 4,200,000 kilowatts!) in 2013, a 15% growth from 2012. Worldwide, there are estimates of solar installation as low as 40 GW and upwards of 45 GW.
- The U.S. residential sector will especially see a surge in growth this year. With increased efficiency and the prices of panels falling, more households are making efforts to get crowned with solar. By the end of 2013, about 350,000 U.S. households have installed solar. In fact, Q3 of 2013 saw the largest number of American homes go solar.
- Employment in the U.S. solar industry is expected to grow another 16% in 2014. Nearly 45% of solar establishments plan to add jobs this year, totaling 22,000 new jobs. The US solar industry employed more than 142,000 workers by the end of 2013 and added close to 24,000 new jobs, that’s an average of 56 new U.S. jobs every day! That is a 20% growth in employment from 2012 and growth this year will be slightly slower than 2013 mainly due to growing efficiencies in installation.
Get ready, 2014 will be one for the record books! The estimates and predictions show signs of very healthy solar growth. There is a lot to look forward to this year and the solar industry will deliver on the expectations. Expect the rest of this year to be the biggest for solar!