Solar Tipping Point

Author profile image for Emily Langenbahn, Director of Community Outreach
  • Emily Langenbahn
  • Director of Community Outreach

By all accounts, solar energy is hitting a tipping point.

 

“Solar is now cheap enough that it competes with oil, kerosene, diesel and LNG in developing markets and yet is still small enough that it cannot disturb pricing for energy in any market,” Bernstein Research said earlier this month.

 

A recent report from McKinsey & Co. seemed to concur. “Cost reductions will put solar within striking distance, in economic terms, of new construction for traditional power-generation technologies, such as coal, natural gas, and nuclear energy.”

 

Last year in the U.S., solar represented 29% of new electric capacity, and was only 10% the year before. With the solar that was installed in just 2013, 800,000 homes can be powered and residential solar installations have fallen in cost 34% between early 2010 and late 2014.

 

California in particular has been a heavy adopter, representing 55% of all U.S. residential solar that was installed in the 4th quarter of 2013. It was 43% in Q1 of 2010.

 

Solar energy has also been a major force in job creation. As of November last year, almost 143,000 people were employed in the solar industry, which is up 19.9% from a year before. This represents 10 times the national average growth rate.

 

Renova Solar is an example of this growth as evidenced by their honors from Inc. Magazine. “We were pleased to be cited as the 4th Fastest Growing Solar Company in California in 2013,” explained Renova CEO/President Vincent Battaglia. “We were also named the 11th Fastest Growing Company in the United States in the energy sector. We continue to see more and more residents in our community wanting to put solar savings to work for them.”

 

Renova Solar is also a SunPower Elite Dealer, a partnership that has proven beneficial to both. Renova is able to offer customers the most efficient and advanced panels in the world, and SunPower gleans ongoing marketing knowledge and feedback from residential end users. A commercial installer as well as manufacturer, SunPower is building the largest solar power plant in the world, and when completed, this single project will provide enough power for 400,000 homes.


Solar is no longer thought of as an unproven and expensive technology. Thousands of everyday Americans are using it to save money and improve their quality of life and that of their communities and the planet.

 

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