This year, the United States’ total solar generating infrastructure surpassed the 10 gigawatt (GW) mark, making us the fourth nation to reach that benchmark after Germany, Italy and China. GreenTech Media Research (GTMR) and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) predict that by the end of the 2013, the country will have added 4.3 gigawatts, representing an increase of 27 percent.

In other words, 2013 was a big year for solar energy. The country took significant steps toward becoming more energy independent and sustainable, and solar itself was the fastest growing source of power, way ahead of competing fossil fuel technologies. It’s worth analyzing some of the reasons that this happened:

  • Leasing and power purchase agreements (PPA) have skyrocketed. The U.S. Energy Information Administration recently found that three-quarters of new solar installations in California were owned by third parties, meaning that they were leased or constructed as part of a PPA. These types of financing arrangements allow for the installation of rooftop systems without a down payment, so it’s easy to see why they’re so popular.
  • The price of solar panels fell drastically. GTMR has stated that the installed price per watt of residential solar has fallen 9.7 percent in 2013, a decrease driven largely by a decline in the cost of solar modules.

If you’ve been hearing a lot about solar power lately but you’re not sure if it’s right for you, we recommend giving West Coast Solar a call today. We can walk you through the financing options available to your family and conduct a solar site analysis to give you an idea of what kind of system your roof can support.