Solar power installers at work at the Parkway School District’s Northeast Middle School.
©Photo by Jerry Naunheim Jr.[/caption]
The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) released their 2012 Solar Insight Report for 2012 (A Year in Review) on Thursday March 14. All in all, 2012 was a record year for the solar industry, as clean, renewable energy becomes an increasingly competitive energy source for America. Here are the highlights:
Increased Installations and Market Share
- Photovoltaic (PV) installations grew 76% over 2011, to total 3,313 Megawatts (MW) in 2012, with an estimated market value of $11.5 billion.
- The commercial solar energy market installed over 1,040 MW in 2012, up 26% over 2011 totals.
- The U.S. accounted for 11% of all global solar photovoltaic installations in 2012, it’s highest market share in at least fifteen years.
Decline in Solar Costs
- The average cost of a completed solar-panel system dropped by 27 percent over the past year.
- The blended average sales price for solar photovoltaic modules for Q4 2012 was $0.68/Watt – a staggering 41% below the Q4 2011 price of $1.15/Watt.
- The average price of solar has declined by 60 percent since the beginning of 2011.
- While these price drops are beneficial for solar consumers, the sharp fall in prices, due in part by a global oversupply, has put a serious strain on solar manufacturers worldwide.
Economic Benefits of Clean Energy
- As the solar industry grows, so does its impact on the economy. According to The Solar Foundation’s Solar Jobs Census 2012, there are more than 119,000 solar workers in the U.S., a 13.2 percent increase over employment totals in 2011.
- In 2012, solar electric installations were valued at $11.5 billion, compared to $8.6 billion and $6 billion in 2010.
- There are 5,600 businesses operating at over 6.500 locations in every state.
Where Missouri Solar Stands
- Missouri ranks #23 in the Top 25 States by 2012 annual installed PV capacity (up from #25 in 2011).