|WASHINGTON, DC - From the end of 2004 through the end of 2014, the deployment of solar energy in the United States grew at an unprecedented rate, according to a new video report, Solar Energy in the United States: A Decade of Record Growth, released today by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).
According to a detailed SEIA analysis, in 2004, there were 500 megawatts (MW) of solar energy installed nationwide. But by the end of 2014, there were 20,000 MW – enough to power more than 4 million homes – with 97 percent of that capacity added after passage of the solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). Over the same time period, the cumulative investment in installed solar installations in the U.S. soared from $2.6 billion to $71.1 billion.
“Our new video report is not only filled with important information, but it tells solar energy’s tremendous success story in a fun and visually-interesting way,” said SEIA President and CEO Rhone Resch. “Did you know that in 2004 only two states had 10 MW of installed solar capacity, yet a decade later, 35 states had topped that threshold – and 20 states had more than 100 MW? But here’s the best news of all: we expect to double our total capacity in the next two years alone.”
Here are some other key takeaways from SEIA’s analysis:
“Most importantly, the tremendous growth of solar energy in the United States has translated into tens of thousands of new jobs,” Resch said. “In 2004, there were less than 20,000 people at work in the U.S. solar industry. Through 2014, that number had soared to 174,000 – with new jobs being added every day. Without question, effective, forward-looking public policies, like the solar ITC, Net Energy Metering (NEM) and Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS), are helping to drive solar energy’s remarkable growth. Because of these polices, we should be generating enough clean electricity to power more than 8 million American homes by the end of 2016, benefitting both our economy and environment, while providing homeowners, businesses, schools, nonprofits and government officials at all levels with real choices in how they meet their electricity needs in the future.”
Celebrating its 41st anniversary in 2015, 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.