Defying even the most optimistic projections over the past decade, the solar industry has continued to grow. And grow. And grow. In 2018 the U.S. reached a total installed capacity of 64.2 gigawatts; that’s enough electricity to power 12.3 million homes, and this capacity is expected to double over the next 5 years. Even despite new tariffs on solar cells and policy transitions in some major markets, the solar industry as a whole has shown tremendous economic resiliency in recent years.
In part, this growth can be attributed to the plummeting cost and increased efficiency of solar photovoltaic cells. According to recent studies, solar module costs have dropped by 99 percent over the past 40 years. Yes, 99 percent. Lower costs mean more rapid deployment, and a more economically viable clean energy product that can compete with other, dirtier energy sources. The result: tens of thousands of homeowners are putting solar on their roofs, and with more state-level policies supporting community solar, renters and small business owners can access solar savings as well.
Even more exciting are recent commitments from cities, states, and corporations to go 100 percent renewable over the next 25 to 30 years. That’s the type of leadership we need, and quite frankly, the aggressive action necessary to address the ever-present threat posed by climate change.
At BlueWave we closed 2018 with 135 MW of solar installed, primarily at community solar farms in Massachusetts. While a small blip in the global fight against climate change, these projects represent important strides in the energy sector. Through our work as a solar developer, community solar manager, and residential solar financier, BlueWave is not only actively adding more solar to the global energy mix, but we’re making solar energy available to more residents, businesses, and communities. This means less reliance on other, dirtier power sources, and a healthier environment for generations to come.
From where we stand we see a very bright future ahead for the solar industry as a whole (yes pun totally intended). In fact, we’re so excited about the future that we made a video about it. Check it out.