Solar WILL be the Cheapest Form of Energy in America 0


SolarChat friend and participant Rhone Resch, the president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industry Association, was recently a guest speaker on NPR’s Diane Rehm Show speaking about America’s Energy Future Beyond Oil and Gas, and something he said really caught my attention. I may be paraphrasing a bit, but Rhone described that within the next five years, solar energy will be the “cheapest source of energy in all 50 states.” In fact, he declared that statement is currently fact in the case of a number of states already.

This is huge! Solar should be the energy source of choice in terms of American-made clean and reliable and affordable. “Cheapest in the country”  has the potential to propel the industry — and the adoption of solar across mainstream America — to an entirely new level.

Evidence to this very encouraging statement can be found within the trends and numbers in the latest U.S. Solar Market Insight Report released today. Some highlights:
  • From Q1 2012 to Q1 2013, residential system prices fell 15.8% percent, from $5.86/W to $4.93/W. Quarter-over-quarter, installed prices declined by 1.9% percent. Installed prices came down in most major residential markets, including California, Arizona, and New Jersey. It was not uncommon for final installed prices to be in the $4.00/W range.
  • PV installations totaled 723 MW in Q1 2013, up 33% over Q1 2012
  • Cumulative operating PV capacity in the U.S. now stands at 7,962 MW
  • The residential market grew 53% over Q1 2012 and 11% over Q4 2012, continuing its streak of consistent incremental quarterly growth
  • The non-residential market shrank 20% on both a quarterly and annual basis, which reflects slow demand across a number of major markets
  • The utility market more than doubled year-over-year, with 24 utility PV projects completed in Q1 2013
  • The average residential PV system price fell below $5.00/W, while the average non-residential systemprice fell below $4.00/W
Also interesting to note is that of the top 27 states for PV Rankings (based on number of installations), only the number one state (California) and the 27th state (Washington, D.C.) maintained their ranking from 2012. All other States have shifted as the race for the top on a state level is fair game.


State Rank (Q1 2013) Rank (2012)
California 1 1
New Jersey 2 3
Hawaii 3 7
Arizona 4 2
North Carolina 5 6
Massachusetts 6 5
Tennessee 7 15
Colorado 8 13
Pennsylvania 9 11
Florida 10 18
Ohio 11 17
Missouri 12 24
New York 13 10
Vermont 14 21
Minnesota 15 25
George 16 23
Maryland 17 8
Texas 18 12
Oregon 19 16
Connecticut 20 22
Washington 21 26
New Mexico 22 19
Wisconsin 23 28
Nevada 24 4
Delaware 25 20
Illinois 26 14
Washington, D.C. 27 27

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