Despite naysayers pointing out solar energy’s possible shortcomings, Americans are investing in solar power in record numbers. According to a new report by the Solar Energy Industries Association, U.S. installations hit a record in 2019 for the most installations in the first quarter of any year.
Overall, homeowners and commercial sectors installed 2.7 gigawatts of solar photovoltaics (PV) in the first three months of 2019. This is the most solar installed in the first quarter of a year, ever. According to Solar Power World, experts are predicting a 25 percent growth in installations for 2019 over 2018. 4.7 gigawatts of large scale projects are currently in construction, and in May, the U.S. reached 2 million solar installations across the country.
The largest contributor to this growth has been utility-scale solar, meaning power stations throughout the U.S., which made up 61 percent of the new PV installations. Residential installations accounted for 603 megawatts, which was up six percent over 2018.
While federal, state, and municipal governments are pledging to move to renewable energy sources at higher and higher rates, these pledges have not yet truly hit the private sector, according to the report. Instead, most of the new installations were voluntary procurement projects based on the economic advantages that solar power presents users.
Unfortunately, the commercial, industrial, and public sector saw only 438 megawatts of PV installed in Q1 2019, which represented a drop both on the quarter and annually. Per the report, this was due to state-level policy reforms that discouraged local industry from investing in solar. However, reforms in other states will probably reinvigorate growth in this sector by 2020.
This news shows that solar is continuing to grow, and producers are finding new reasons to create innovative products and entice private buyers to install their own solar. Even as the federal government may be shying away from incentives, state and local governments are creating more policies that will encourage the commercial and industrial sectors to move to solar.
If you’re interested in joining the solar trend, get in touch with SolExergy today. We help commercial and residential properties find the right solar solutions to lower your energy costs and reduce your commercial footprint at a price you can afford.