Solar Energy in the US

Zwickau University solar installation

Zwickau University solar installation

Solar energy in the U.S. has now reached a tipping point; it’s cheaper to buy a solar system now than it is to pay your electric bill in many places. Since year 2008, installations have grown 17-fold from 1.2 gigawatts to 36 gigawatts today. This is a capacity enough to power millions of American homes. As of 2010, the cost of solar panels has dropped more than sixty percent and the cost of the solar electric system dropped by about fifty percent.

Some bright entrepreneur is going to invent solar roof tiles and then it will all be over with for the traditional electric companies.

Some bright entrepreneur is going to invent solar roof tiles and then it will all be over with for the traditional electric companies.


Markets for the solar energy are opening rapidly across the country and the solar electricity is now competitive economically with the different conventional energy sources in some states including Minnesota, Texas, Hawaii, and California. In addition to that, the solar industry is a known incubator for job growth in the entire nation. Solar jobs have also increased about 123 percent since November 2010 with nearly thousands of solar workers in the US. This trend is expected to continue.

Solar panels, panel racking costs, and inverter costs have come down at steady pace every year, which results in big decline in the long run. There are different causes, including a steep decline in the polysilicone prices, manufacturing efficiencies, and competition among the manufacturers. The downward price trend is common with the new technologies.

Nellis AFB Solar panels

Nellis AFB Solar panels

The greater the solar panel’s efficiency, the greater the system’s overall energy production. Even if the most efficient solar panels available in the market have 22.5% efficiency, majority of the panels are in 14-16 percentage range. This difference when it comes to efficiency means that a better system may have a solar energy output that’s 50% greater than less efficient systems. Some associated costs have been reduced through greater efficiency including installation, transportation, and racking system equipment costs.

The increased deployment of solar energy provides numerous benefits for the US. As a clean domestic energy source available, the solar supports the broader national priorities such as economic growth, national security, job creation, and climate change mitigation. The potential and abundance of solar throughout the US is staggering. The solar panels on 0.6 percent of the total land area of the nation might supply enough electricity for powering the whole nation. Solar panels can be installed also on the rooftops without impacts on land use. CSP or concentrating solar power is the other technique to get energy from the sun and 7 southwestern states have the land area and technical potential to site enough solar power to supply 4 timers the recent US yearly electricity demand.

ASU Solar panels

ASU Solar panels

In spite of the impressive progress, significant work remains before solar power becomes affordable as the conventional energy sources and meets the full potential in the entire country. The costs of solar hardware have also fallen dramatically, yet market barriers as well as grid integration challenges continue to hinder good deployment.

There are many benefits of using solar energy. Aside from keeping the cost of energy low, it is widely available and can guarantee that your family is safe from grid failure. When compared to the conventional energy sources, solar energy is very eco-friendly, and the trend toward solar energy as a mainstay is expected to continue.

You can see more solar-inspired art installations here.

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