Germany was first over the 10,000 megawatts of solar capacity milestone. And now the United States is the fourth nation to have more than 10,000 megwatts installed, joining Italy and China.
As is reported in the link to story, US solar capacity increased at a 50% annual growth rate in the last 6 years. Wow! And Uncle Sam's solar capacity will exceed 17,000 megawatts by the end of 2014.
10,000 megawatts of solar generation running for a year will produce about 12.5 billion kilowatt-hours, assuming each kilowatt generates on average 1,250 kilowatt-hours. That's enough power to supply 1.25 million homes.
So what do those numbers mean? Solar matters. It plays an increasing role in keeping the lights on during the hottest hours of each day and of each year. No doubt, the enormous amount of new solar is already pushing down wholesale power prices by dispatching extra power into grids. And, of course, solar generates only during the higher priced, on peak generating hours of everyday, thereby delivering strong consumer benefits.
The combination of solar, wind, and natural gas makes the economics of coal and nuclear plants more and more difficult.
Solar matter also in terms of jobs creation. Last year, the solar industry employed even then more than 110,000 people. With this continued strong growth, those jobs number will rise still again during 2013.
Importantly, the solar boom in the US is not just a California story. Solar is booming in many states in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast but not all. While demand for new solar is bullish in New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Maryland, it is sluggish in Pennsylvania. But that too will change, because the price of solar continues to fall rapidly.
Sun power is now rooted in the fertile soil of competitive solar pricing for new generation in more and more parts of the America and the world!