It’s been a great couple of years for solar, and every day the sun shines brighter on business PV. And while a healthy solar industry is something we take pride in, customers benefit considerably from the strong state of the trade. An invigorated economy, rapid and frequent innovation, the strengthening effects of competition, and the influential spread of alternative energy — all of these things translate to good things for our customers, not to mention our planet!
Sunetric: Commercial Solar Clients
Here at Sunetric, we have more than 94 commercial clients in our portfolio since 2006, and we’re adding more every month. We’ve got more than 20 commercial solar projects underway in 2011 so far, and we‘re on track to make this our fullest year yet.
SEIA: Commercial Sector Drive U.S. Solar Market with 38 Percent Growth in Third Quarter, Solar Costs Continue Decline
This report from the Solar Energy Industries Association from this past December shows just how much PV was installed in the third quarter of 2010 — “530 MW of PV, already well over the 435 MW installed in all of 2009.”
Alongside support from state and federal policies, nationwide growth is being propelled across residential, commercial and utility-scale market segments by the continued decline of average system costs, which the report finds were below $6/watt in Q3 for the first time, or 8.5 percent less than Q1 averages.
SEIA: US Solar Energy Industry Experiences Record-Breaking Growth in 2010
The SEIA followed up in March with this statement, laying out just how “Federal section 1603 Treasury program, completion of significant utility-scale projects, expansion of new state markets and declining technology costs” led to “doubling installation totals from 2009.”
SustainableBusiness.com: US Solar Development Heating up in Q2
SustainableBusiness.com rounds up seven large commercial electric and solar energy companies starting large-scale PV projects in just this quarter of 2011, including SunPower, from whom Sunetric has earned the coveted Elite Dealer distinction.
SunPower is designing and building a 4MW solar array that will be part of the largest planned zero-net energy development in the US. The development is a residential village at the University of California, Davis. It will include solar panels on rooftops and parking canopies, supplying 100% of the power needs for student housing, recreation and study facilities.
President Obama recently stated in his 2011 State of the Union Address: “Instead of subsidizing yesterday’s energy, let’s invest in tomorrow’s.” Shortly thereafter DOE secretary Chu launched the SunShot initiative, geared at research to drive down the costs of solar PV aggressively.
As Conference Committee Chair of Intersolar North America for the past three years, I witnessed the ebb and flow of policy, regulation, investments and its effect on the solar industry. The U.S. solar market has the potential to double once again in 2011, making it a contender for the world’s largest solar market by 2015. The ‘perfect storm’ of incentives, regulations and affordability, makes it well positioned for strong growth.
All signs point toward continued improvement and innovation in the world of solar energy, both locally and abroad. The 110-megawatt Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project in Nevada has the green light. The UN reports that renewable energy could provide 80% of the world’s energy needs by 2050. As fossil fuel becomes scarce and inefficient, solar power lights up rural areas of India, and Japan has just announced plans to have solar on every new building by 2030. The Philippines are planning a solar summit. Guam too.
The time for solar is now.