100 megawatts of solar generation and counting is now operating in Pennsylvania. Prior to 2008, Pennsylvania was in single digits for solar, with less than 10 megawatts.
The strong growth has been driven by policy and sharply falling prices for solar systems that have declined from $9 per watt in 2007 to about $4 to $5 per watt today, depending on system size. Prices continue to decline by about 1% per month.
The falling prices are a result of successful policies in Pennsylvania, the USA, and the world to increase the demand for solar panels and the size of the solar industry to provide them. Economies of scale, advances in panel efficiency and other technical improvements have all created a growing industry and falling prices.
In Pennsylvania the policies that have created about $500 million of solar investment to date included the $100 million PA Sunshine program funded by the 2008 Act 1 Alternative Energy Fund and the 2004 Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act. The Act requires that 0.5% of all electricity consumed in PA come from solar by 2021.
Pennsylvania has enough solar operating to meet the 2013 requirement. Pennsylvania is ahead of schedule.