Solar has seen exponential growth in the last few years. In fact it is doubling every two and a half years. According to GTM Research two-thirds of all solar PV capacity in place worldwide has been installed since January 2011. It took nearly four decades to install 50 gigawatts of PV capacity worldwide but in the last two and a half years we have seen that number double to just over 100 gigawatts.
The tremendous growth of solar also makes a convincing point about economies of scale. As the volume grows the price declines. Since January 2011 global module prices have fallen 62 percent. The national average for residential system prices in the US fell another 18 percent last year; non-residential prices fell 13.3 percent. Lower costs suggest that even without new incentives solar installations are finding new markets.
This prodigious growth is expected to continue as the solar industry anticipates it will double again in the next two and a half years. We can expect to see another 100 gigawatts of installed solar powered around the world by 2015.
This significant increase is also occurring in the US where distributed solar market are matching or exceeding global growth curves. More than two-thirds of America’s distributed PV (everything except for utility-scale projects) has been installed since January 2011. And by 2015, America’s distributed PV market is expected to increase by more than 200 percent.
© 2013, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.
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