SOLAR ENERGY IS BEATING FOSSIL FUEL

SOLAR ENERGY IS SLOWLY BEATING THE FOSSIL FUEL INDUSTRY

The giant ball of plasma up above the Earth’s surface is our most inexhaustible source of energy. As more people begin to release the toxic effects of natural gas on our environment, the market for solar energy and other renewable energy sources continues to grow on an annual basis. In recent years, the cost of commercial and residential solar power has finally become comparable to the cost of natural gas, something that would have been unthinkable a couple of decades back. The government has encouraged the wide scale adoption of solar energy by providing several tax credits and subsidies for clean energy installation. More than 90% of all solar installations in the United States have taken place this decade. With the amount of available fossil fuel decreasing around the world, solar and renewable energies are slowly taking its place as the fastest growing, most efficient source of energy.

RIP Dinosaur

WHAT HAPPENED IN 2015?

The years 2015 and 2016 have been landmark years in the development and production of solar energy. According to a report published by the Solar Energy Industry Association, solar energy was responsible for 29.5% of all energy sources produced in 2015, beating the production of fossil fuels.

This was the first time solar installations had ever exceeded natural gas installations on an annual basis. Solar firms installed around 7.29 gigawatts of solar array panels in 2015, which is capable of powering the homes of over one million American homes.

The installations of the solar panels accounted for more than a quarter of the total installations ever carried out in the United States. The residential market alone accounted for a little over 2,000 mega-watts of production in 2015. The residential solar market grew by nearly two-thirds in 2015. The highest number of installations occurred in California.

In addition, the average pricing of solar systems in the United States decreased by nearly 20% from 2014. This is attributed to continuing technological advances in the field, a rising customer and producer base, and the government’s clean energy subsidies.

WHAT HAS HAPPENED OR WILL HAPPEN IN 2016?

According to the U.S. Solar Market Report Insight, released in June, the generation capacity of the solar industry trumped the combined generation capacity of natural gas, nuclear power, and coal in the first quarter of 2016.

The 2016 production of solar energy is expected to be greater than any other form of energy. The production may even reach double-digit-gigawatt levels this year. If not in 2016, the solar market will become a double-digit-gigawatt production market by the end of the decade.

The residential PV market is expected to soar in 2016, while the non-residential PV market will either remain flat or experience mild growth. This stagnation in the non-residential market is linked to state government and development issues and it is unclear if this trend is going to change in the next couple of years.

In the first quarter of 2016, the average price of solar across all market segments fell by around 8.8%. Prices fell in the residential, utility, and non-residential sectors. As the prices continue to drop, the present is an excellent time to solar power before the market changes. Clearly, there has never been a better time to go solar. With the ever increasing cost of fossil fuels and energy, look into getting solar for your home or business here.

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NET ENERGY METERING 3.0 INFORMATION

Net Energy Metering 3.0 (NEM 3.0) is the incoming law created by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). The new tariffs and fees will impact both residential and commercial solar systems built in California. 

As this notice is posted in November of 2022, the Proposed Decision from the CPUC outlining the proposed NEM 3.0 terms is expected soon. This comes after a year’s delay. Once the new agreement is finalized and passed into law, there will exist a designation of the deadline under which new systems will continue to qualify for NEM 2.0 rates. 

The new NEM 3.0 rates will be designed to lower the value of electricity during the daytime hours, when solar is producing, and increase the value of electricity during the evening hours, when solar homes and businesses purchase electricity. In short, NEM 3.0 will create a “sell low, buy high” proposition to new solar system owners. 

To Californians looking to install a solar system on their home or commercial building, the NEM 2.0 rates will be preferred. As of this post, the solar industry does not know the details of how different the NEM 3.0 rates will be from the NEM 2.0 rates. 

Please use the HES Solar website as a resource to learn more, and please take our offer to speak with an HES Solar Energy Consultant at no obligation.

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Robert Laverty

Senior Energy Consultant, Residential

Robert Laverty joined the HES team in the summer of 2018, bringing his ten years of solar design experience and his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Puget Sound with him. Robert is dedicated to finding solutions to help families produce and store electricity in order to reduce their reliance on grid power as well as help reduce their household’s carbon footprint. Robert’s experience as a newspaper editor as well as his involvement with the sustainability-focused Rocky Mountain Institute drives him to constantly seek out innovative ways to meet energy needs through renewable resources as well as helps him share those ideas with Southern California homeowners. When not at work or volunteering time with his church or community, Robert spends time with his wife and two sons or pursues his passion of fly fishing.
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