Anyone can witness the growth of solar energy in the country. It does not take too much effort to notice that solar panels have increased by a significant number. What about the stats? What do they claim? The figures are significant and show that solar capacity has increased by 418% in the years between 2010 and 2014.
Considering the entire energy of the country, solar energy still takes up a small part. It is just a little bit over 1% of the total energy generated. However, the fact that this capacity has increased by as much as four times in the past four years is impressive. With these stats in mind, the industry experts are quite hopeful that solar can take over the power system in the time to come.
Back in the year 2010, the solar capacity in America was around 2,300 megawatts. At that time, this much energy only contributed a mere 0.22 energy to the total power generation in the country. Since then, the costs involved in buying and installing solar panels has decreased and efficiency has improved. All this led to an increase in figures.
In the year 2014, the total energy generated by solar panels was over 12,000 MW. In terms of the energy gain, the amount has increased by over 9,500 megawatts, which resulted in a percentage increase of 418%. Solar now takes up about 1.13% of the total energy generated, and these numbers are still rising.
If we delve some more into the stats, we can come across many interesting findings. For instance, the increase in net metered applications since the year 2001 is around 1,100 MW, which has resulted in a total capacity of over 5,000 MW. New Jersey contributes 21% to this amount.
An industry expert told the press that PV capacity is increasing at a fast rate and is overtaking the net metered segment. As for solar thermal projects or concentrated solar technology, it has also increased. The total capacity of this sector is around 1050 MW of which over 650 MW was just added last year.
According to a report, solar energy is expected to enjoy another leap of 6,459 MW for the utility scale sector. For thermal solar, an increase of 1,841 MW is expected in the overall capacity. If the actual figures come near these expected values, solar capacity will increase at an even faster rate.