By the Numbers: Solar Power Expansion in the United States

August 21st, 2015 by admin

Solar power is the fastest growing source of renewable energy in America. Over the course of the last decade alone, solar energy has expanded in remarkable ways. The industry currently employs more Americans than Apple, Google, Facebook, and Twitter — combined. The US solar industry is adding workers at a rate nearly 20 times that of the overall economy in the United States.

As one of the fastest growing industries in America, consumers, businesses, schools, sports teams, and military all have the opportunity to benefit from solar energy. Most importantly, solar power is a growing resource that provides hope for future generations of Americans. Need some proof? Check out these stats from the Solar Energies Industries Association:

  • 174,000: The number of Americans employed by the US solar industry in 2014
  • 31,000: The number of solar jobs created only in 2014
  • 50,000: The number of US Veterans the the US solar industry plans to employ by 2020
  • 86%: The amount that solar jobs have grown in just the last 4 years
  • $18 billion: The amount of money that the solar industry contributes to the US economy each year
  • 20,000 megawatts (MW): The total amount of solar capacity nationwide, including both photovoltaics (PV) and concentrated solar power (CSP)
  • 4 million: The number of American homes that could be powered by 20,000 MW
  • 63%: The amount that the price of a PV panel has dropped since 2010
  • 50%: The amount that the price of installing a PV system has dropped since 2010

Looking Back

In 2004:

  • America had the potential for harnessing 500 MW of solar energy
  • 15,500 homes nationwide had a solar PV system installed
  • 100 large-scale solar projects were taking place nationwide
  • $2.6 billion was invested in solar installation
  • 2 states had more than 10 MW of solar capacity

In 2014:

  • America had the potential for harnessing 20,000 MW of solar energy
  • 600,000 homes nationwide had a solar PV system installed
  • 1,100 large-scale solar projects were taking place nationwide
  • $71.1 billion was invested in solar installation
  • 35 states had more than 10 MW of solar capacity (and 20 states had more than 100 MW)

 Plans for 2016

Thanks to incentives such as the Solar Investment Tax Credit, Net Energy Metering, and Renewable Portfolio Standard laws, the following improvements are expected by next year as the solar industry continues to thrive.

  • By 2016, 400,000 MW of solar energy will power 8 million American homes
  • 16 states will install equipment for over 100 MW of solar capacity
  • All solar market sectors are expected to grow by 25-50%
  • 45 million metric tons of harmful carbon emissions — or the emissions of approximately 10 million cars in the US — will be offset by solar energy use

JK Mechanical is dedicated to furthering the expansion of solar energy in the United States by installing PV solar systems for homes and businesses that wish to save money and reduce their carbon emissions. If you’re interested in a future-oriented, renewable form of energy that could save you money, call JK Mechanical at 800-JKM-0028 for a free solar consultation.


You can view our infographic on the Value of Solar Energy here, to learn more about how installing a solar energy system could benefit you.

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