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Solar Energy Facts That May Surprise You – Forbes Advisor


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If we could fast-forward to sometime in the future, solar energy would, without question, play a huge role in how we power our homes and more, and its popularity and usage around the world is increasing with every passing day. In fact, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the national trade association for the solar and solar storage industries, asserts that solar energy “isn’t just the future—it’s our present.”

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They share that in 2020, solar power experienced a 37% growth in the United States alone and project that there will be 42% more solar power installed in the U.S. between 2021 and 2025 than the solar market installed during the last five years.

If you’re looking to save on energy costs or support a world where clean energy dominates, solar energy is the way to go according to Anne Hoskins, Chief Policy Officer of Sunrun, the nation’s leading home solar, battery storage and energy services provider. She says, “As electric utility costs increase and power outages become more frequent across the country, Americans from all backgrounds are looking for more reliable alternatives.

Home solar and batteries give households control over their energy costs, allow them to maintain power for critical needs through grid outages, and provide a way to participate in and benefit from the transition to a cleaner future.”

If you’re curious about solar energy and its benefits—including offsetting the climate change crisis—for your home and for the world, or if you’re just a huge fan of fun facts, we’ve got you covered. Here are some interesting solar energy numbers that you can wrap your mind around, and can be found on SEIA’s website:

  • 231,474: The number of people currently employed by the solar industry
  • 108.7 GW: The amount of solar currently installed in the U.S.
  • 25.3 billion: The value of the U.S. solar market in 2020
  • Over 4%: The amount of U.S. electricity that comes from solar energy, more than 80 times the amount used a decade ago
  • 30%: The amount of electricity generation the solar industry hopes to generate by 2030
  • 10,000-plus: The number of solar businesses presently in the U.S.
  • 398.3 MW: The amount of solar energy used through 2019 by the top-leading company Apple, followed by Amazon (369 MW), Walmart (331 MW), Target (284.8 MW) and Google (245.3 MW)
  • 42%: The average annual growth of the solar market over the past 10 years
  • 324 GW: The amount of solar power that will be installed over the next 10 years, 3 times the amount installed through 2020
  • 3,060,407: The number of solar energy systems installed in the U.S.
  • 122 million metric tons: The number of carbon emissions reduced annually, which is equivalent to 27 million vehicles off the road, 14 billion gallons of gas not used, 2 billion trees planted and 31 coal-fired plants shuttered
  • 56%: The amount of all-new generated energy capacity comprised by solar energy in the first half of 2021
  • 18.9 million: The number of households in the U.S. that can be powered by solar energy
  • 36%: The percent of solar PV price decline over the past five years
  • 13.4%: The number of homes in the U.S. is projected to have solar PV systems by 2030, just under a decade away
  • 75 seconds: The rate at which a new solar project was installed in 2020
  • 32,394 MW: The amount of solar capacity for California, which leads the country, followed by Texas with 11,063 MW and Florida ranking third with 7,681 MW; North Carolina and Arizona round out the nation’s top five leaders in solar power capacity

Intrigued by these interesting facts about solar energy? Want to know more about the natural power that is poised to run the world in the next decade and beyond? Here are some more facts to ponder about this powerful energy source:

  • Solar energy is inexpensive: Solar power is not only clean energy, but it’s cheap as well–considerably less expensive than coal, diesel, nuclear, natural gas and fossil fuel. How cheap? We’re talking about four cents per kilowatt-hour.
  • China leads the world in solar energy use: In the first half of 2017, China reportedly installed 24.4 GW of solar power systems, enough to power over 4 million homes in the U.S. Needless to say, China has led the charge globally in maximizing solar power.
  • Solar power is more available than you may think: Solar power comes from the sun, and not only is it an all-natural as well as a powerful energy source, but it is extremely abundant—in fact, there’s enough solar energy impacting the earth every hour to support our planet’s power needs for a whole year.
  • Solar power is quick to access: Solar power plants are able to harness and store solar power both easily and quickly, something that no other power source, including widely used fossil fuel, has been able to accomplish or claim.

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