Do you know what is the most visible change in US? It is the shift towards clean, reliable and cheap electricity along with the speedy proliferation of rooftop solar panels mounted on the roofs of several businesses and homes. Between 2008 and 2014, institutional, residential and commercial solar grew more than 50% every year.
Solar is a great opportunity for renewable energy, with ample sunshine across the nation to make solar a viable option in every state. A well-sited five-kilowatt solar system can generate two-thirds to three-quarters of a typical household’s electricity use.
More and more businesses are being attracted to the environmental benefits of solar power and to the ability to generate their own power. In addition to this, it gives the advantage of fixed and competitive price of electricity that the systems provide.
Rooftop solar is very cost-effective for businesses, home owners, business owners, and communities. Decreased technology prices, innovative financing, and emerging networks of solar installers and financial partners have facilitated in driving down the prices for household systems in US by 45% percent from 2010 - 2014.
Additionally, a federal solar investment tax credit returns 30% of the purchase price, state & local tax credits and rebates can then reduce the total cost even further. The economies of scale and technological advances have helped the prices to drop even further. The reduced prices have resulted from improvements in the technology and economies of scale among manufacturers.
The Growth Scale
Globally, commercial solar panel production increased from 24,000 MW in 2010 to 40,000 MW in 2014. PV costs in US have also been affected by global market conditions, which includes the emergence of lower-priced solar products from China.
However, PV prices in US have benefitted from reductions in soft costs, like those related to sales, inspection, permitting, connection to the grid and the profit margins of retailers and installers.
The increasing success of solar is also due to innovative ownership structures.
Many businesses and homeowners are taking advantage of third-party ownership options. Under solar leases or power purchase agreements, electricity customers either pay little or nothing up front for rooftop systems. They get electricity from the systems over a long period at attractive fixed prices.
Rooftop solar is going mainstream. The reduction in prices and innovative financing structures mean that rooftop solar is more broadly available. This is the reason that today, the pool of customers comes from increasingly diverse economic backgrounds. These days, some states also have policies to assist low-income or disadvantaged populations, in order to promote solar.
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