After what seemed to be a powerful tidal wave of republican victories in the United States, grabbing control of both the House and Senate–solar enthusiasts are correct to be worried about the future of solar and other renewable energy technologies for the near future.

But looking back at how effective the growth, adoption and cost reduction strategies for solar in the U.S. have been, one would dare to believe that there may be nothing the republican power in Washington can do to stem the powerful solar tide.

A recent PV-Buzz article cited a Deutsche Bank report that suggests there is a strong shift under-way for solar energy to becoming the world’s primary source of energy by 2050.

The report also stated that solar has already reached grid parity in 10 states that are responsible for 90% of U.S. solar electricity production, keeping it on track to be as cheap or cheaper than average electricity-bill prices in 47 U.S. states by the year 2016.

And that’s not all; a third edition report on PV pricing trends by the U.S. Energy Department’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) concluded that solar PV pricing dropped by 12 – 19% nationwide in 2013, and is on track to drop another 3 – 12% by the end of the current year (2014).

Another report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) stated that global clean energy investment in Q3 of the current year was ahead of what was reported the same time last year by 16%, making it almost certain that solar in on the rise.

The following charts also push the point further as they paint a promising picture of solar energy’s performance in the U.S., and in Europe (H/T Mother Jones)

They tell a story of solar growth within the U.S. and worldwide from adoption, steady growth and cost reduction.


New solar installations in the US (Megawatts)
graph1 (Source: SEIA)

New electricity generation capacity installed in the US, Q1 2014
graph2(Source: SEIA)

Total installed PV capacity (gigawatts)
graph3(Source: International Energy Agency)

Cost Reduction:

The cost of putting solar panels on typical house has dropped nearly 70% since 1998
(Source: National Renewable Energy Lab–assuming 6Kw house)

This article is adapted from information published on PV-Buzz and from Mother Jones

Derick Lila
Derick is a Clark University graduate—and Fulbright alumni with a Master's Degree in Environmental Science, and Policy. He has over a decade of solar industry research, marketing, and content strategy experience.

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