Solar Growth through the years
The cost to install solar has dropped by 70% since 2010 according to https://www.seia.org/solar-industry-research-data. To put that into dollar form an average size home in 2010 cost $40,000 in material and now it cost $17,000. In the U.S there are more than 1.9 million solar installations to date. One megawatt equals 1000 kilowatts, kilowatts (kW) are what most of us understand system sizes in since most residential homes get about a 7kW system size. In 2010 the U.S had roughly 1000 MW installed, 2016 saw a record high with right around 15,000 MW installed. Over 242,000 american's make a living in the solar industry today. So what has changed to get us to where we are today you might ask?
There are many variables that we can assume got us to these new heights in the solar industry. The first and probably most important one is the 30% investment tax credit offered by the federal government. The majority of clients I work with are focused on return on investment and not being held hostage to the utility companies always rising rates, that being said a 30% coupon (essentially) helps with both of those. Another factor is my previously mentioned stat of how much cheaper it is now to install solar compared to where it was in just 2010. With solar prices declining and utility prices steadily inclining more people are seeing that it makes sense to install now. Millennial's are the most Eco-friendly generation out there in america and they are getting older which means that they are getting good jobs and saving up money. Those factors added up are putting more installs out there. I want to be clear, our biggest market is still adults who are within 10 years of retiring, but more and more millennial's are bringing serious interest into getting a system installed and many are doing it. The final point i want to make that is helping with more and more installs in the U.S is exposure. If your neighbor has them you want them. If you see solar panels you are automatically drawn to at least stare at them and wonder, "how much did those cost?", "how much money are they saving?". When people see things it is then on their mind, when it is on their mind they then research it on google, then they are seeing how beneficial they are and calling for quotes. All of these factors combined create a bright future for the solar industry.