According to data from GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), solar power experienced a record-breaking year in 2015, reporting that the U.S. solar industry installed 7,286 megawatts of solar power last year.
The figures, announced on February 22, represent an increase of over 1,000 megawatts of solar photovoltaic installations compared to 2014. Photovoltaic technology is able to convert sunlight directly into usable and savable electrical energy.
According to the data, solar power beat natural gas capacity additions for the first time ever, with 29.5 percent of all new electric generating capacity met by solar power in 2015.
Rhone Resch, president and CEO of the SEIA, described 2015 as a “monumental year for the U.S. solar industry.” Resch added that the next few years would see, “solar continue to reach unprecedented heights as our nation makes a shift toward a carbon-free source of energy that also serves as an economic and job-creating engine.”
The potential of solar power as a clean energy source is significant. In 2014, the International Energy Agency stated that the sun could be the planet’s biggest source of electricity by 2050.
In the U.S., the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy says that in states such as California, Hawaii, Texas and Minnesota, solar electricity is now “economically competitive with conventional energy sources.”
The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (a division of the U.S. Dept. of Energy) has many initiatives already underway, including a “Community and Shared Solar” project. The info graphs below illustrate their ideas for the future of solar power on a larger scale. Learn all about this project and others by clicking HERE.
Radiant heating is the best heating application to pair with solar power. Radiant heating uses lower temperatures to achieve the desired results, whereby using less energy. Solar systems easily connect to radiant heating systems, with the right equipment and professional installer.
We have been working with these systems for decades. The technology of both radiant heating and solar power have come a long way since then. Technological advancements and quality improvements, in addition to an increase in our understanding of these systems, has made them more attainable, reliable, and desirable.
The future of solar and radiant sure looks bright!
Story Source: CNBC
Infographics by Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy