Posted: Tuesday, 3/14/17 @ 3pm EST
In 2000, only 4 megawatts of solar had been installed in the U.S. Can you guess how many megawatts (MW) were were installed in 2016? I'll give you a moment to guess (and a pretty picture to look at while you do).
Did you guess 14.626 gigawatts (GW)? Here was my expression when I first read this:
Not only that, but in the past year, installed solar practically doubled from 7.5GW to 14.6GW, which is 95% growth. Absolutely incredible. There isn't another industry that I know of that is growing that quickly, and we want you to be a part of it. Everyone goes solar for their own reason(s), but from a recent survey we conducted, our customers #1 reason to have solar panels installed on their house was the savings - payback is between 3-7 years right now (but that will change in 2018, and that is for another blog post). As we say, the time to go solar is NOW!
If you don't know, what you install on your house is on average between 5 and 15 kilowatts (kW) depending on a number of variables (roof size, direction, tilt etc.). And, 1 GW = 1,000 MW = 1,000,000 kW = 1,000,000,000 watt (W). So, compare 4MW to 14.6GW in kW - 4,000kW to 14,600,000,000kW - that's a whole lot of zeros and a 3650000% growth. What other industry can say grew that much in 16 years?
Of course, this growth is attributed to all of the wonderful residents, building owners and land owners in the U.S. It may surprise you to hear that Massachusetts is actually in the top 10 states for solar production year over year. This is because Massachusetts has extremely favorable solar policies such as up to a $1,000 tax credit, net energy metering and Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs - you can read more about those here). In the words of our customer Carlton Jones who recently posted on a Facebook post of ours, "My ROI break-even point is going to be about 4 years from the date of turn-on, so as an investment alone (even if I didn't care about the environment), where else can I make ~19% per year on my investment for 10 straight years?" We're not sure Carlton, that's why we say a solar panel installation is the best investment/home improvement you can make!
2017 will be the last year in Massachusetts that you will earn SRECs year over year for 10 years. Fill out the form on this page, we'll contact you, explain all of the great benefits to going solar and answer all of your questions. Our customers really do think it's one of the best investments they've ever made.
Director of Marketing at Boston Solar