SEIA Washington, DC | December 23, 2014 — A new growth industry is emerging in Utah, where residential solar installations in Q3 alone were equal to the amount installed in all last year. In addition, added solar capacity in Q3 was more than six times the capacity installed over Q3 2013, according to GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association’s (SEIA) most recent U.S. Solar Market Insight® quarterly report.
“Utah’s solar industry is growing in a significant way, and that’s paying real dividends, as average installed residential and commercial photovoltaic system prices have fallen nearly 30 percent in the past year,” said Rhone Resch, president and CEO of SEIA. “Contributing to falling prices and the rapid growth of the industry nationwide are smart and effective public policies, such as the solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), Net Energy Metering (NEM) and Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) that allow Utah’s consumers the opportunity to choose clean, renewable solar energy. Additionally, we believe solar can be a real game changer for Utah in the future, as it looks for ways to meet new obligations under the EPA’s Clean Power Plan.”
The 18 MW of solar energy currently installed in Utah ranks the state 28th in the country in installed solar capacity, but 8.2MW of that has gone in just this year. There is now enough solar energy installed in the state to power 3,100 homes. In 2013, $11 million was invested in Utah to install solar for home, business and utility use.
Nationwide, the solar industry employs 143,000 Americans and pumps nearly billion a year into the U.S. economy. But solar also benefits the environment.
“The 17,500 megawatts of solar energy currently installed across the United States can generate enough pollution-free electricity to displace 20 billion pounds of coal or 2.2 billion gallons of gasoline,” Resch added. “That’s the equivalent of removing 4.3 million passenger cars from our roads and highways. Every 3 minutes of every single day, the U.S. solar industry is helping to fight the battle against damaging carbon emissions by flipping the switch on another completed solar project.