On May 3 the U.S. solar industry celebrated an important milestone—1 million solar installations across the U.S. It’s an impressive milestone, especially considering that in 2009 the country had just 100,000 solar installations. But perhaps more impressive is that the U.S. will double that number by the end of 2018.
The figures come from the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and GTM Media. Though the organizations said the U.S. actually hit the landmark on April 21, just ahead of Earth Day. However, SEIA led the #MillionSolarStrong campaign and Thunderclap on Twitter which coalesced in events in Washington, D.C. on May 3. At the same time the George Washington Solar Institute produced a new fact book in which it said the amount of solar installed across the U.S. is enough to power all of Pennsylvania’s electric needs, and enough solar to cover 6 million homes.
“The idea that we are celebrating a million solar installations in this country is awe-inspiring to me, 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 mind-boggling 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.”
It’s a time for some quick reflection on what the solar industry has accomplished in less than a decade. Among other facts, according to the George Washington Solar Institute’s fact book, solar installation costs have dropped more than 70 percent in the last decade, solar jobs have grown more than 123 percent in the last five years and the 1 million installations cut enough carbon to equal all of Oregon’s emissions. SIEA added that there are now 209,000 Americans employed by solar.Tweet