The Current Scenario of Rooftop Solar in the US & What Lies Ahead
December 14, 2023
Rooftop solar energy systems have gained tremendous popularity in the United States in recent years, contributing to a cleaner, greener, and more sustainable future. With advancements in technology, falling costs, and increased awareness about the benefits of solar power, the rooftop solar industry has witnessed significant growth. Let us talk about the current scenario of rooftop solar in the US, highlighting policy initiatives, installation figures, and the advantages of embracing solar energy.
As of 2023, rooftop solar installations in the US have experienced substantial growth. The cumulative solar capacity installed in the US reached 153 gigawatts (GW) by early 2023, enough to power more than 25 million average American homes. This growth has been fuelled by both residential and commercial rooftop solar installations, with homeowners and businesses recognizing the financial and environmental benefits of going solar. The US current has approximately 9 GW of installed rooftop solar capacity (residential +commercial +community). The residential rooftop solar market alone in the country was estimated to be valued at $14.21 Billion in 2022.
Several US states have implemented policies and incentives to encourage rooftop solar installations. California, for instance, has been at the forefront of the solar revolution, leading the nation in installed capacity. The state’s solar initiative has helped the state to achieve 12 GW of installed rooftop solar capacity.
Policies such as- Accelerated Renewable Energy Growth Act (which acts to streamline siting and permitting for large-scale solar projects in New York), NY Sun program (that helped boost incentive values for community solar projects over the initially proposed values) in New York; SMART program (that works to secure added 1,600 MW of capacity for the program and reduce constraints on establishing solar projects on natural and working lands), Northeast Clean Energy Council’s intervention (improves distributed solar interconnection policies) in Massachusetts; have implemented robust programs offering financial incentives, tax credits, and net metering policies to promote rooftop solar adoption.
At the federal level, the US government has taken significant steps to support the rooftop solar industry. President Biden signing the Inflation Reduction Act has encouraged the industry and the energy adoption. The Investment Tax Credit (ITC), which was extended, provides a 30% federal tax credit for residential and commercial rooftop solar installations. This incentivizes homeowners and businesses to invest in solar energy systems and significantly reduces the upfront costs. Additionally, the Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative aims to make solar energy cost-competitive with traditional sources by 2030, driving innovation and reducing installation costs further.
Cost Savings: Rooftop solar installations can lead to substantial cost savings over the long term. Homeowners and businesses can reduce or even eliminate their electricity bills by generating their own clean energy, selling excess power back to the grid through net metering and engaging best solar panel manufacturers in USA.
Environmental Benefits: Solar energy is a renewable resource that produces no greenhouse gas emissions during operation. By embracing rooftop solar through using PVEL certified solar panel from solar panel manufacturers in USA, individuals and businesses can significantly reduce their carbon footprint, contributing to a cleaner environment and combating climate change.
Energy Independence: Solar power allows individuals and businesses to become more energy-independent, reducing their reliance on traditional fossil fuels. This independence provides resilience against rising electricity costs and power outages, as solar energy systems continue to generate electricity even during grid disruptions.
Job Creation: The rooftop solar industry has emerged as a significant source of job creation in the US. According to the SEIA, the solar industry employs over 255,037 workers across various fields, ranging from installation and manufacturing to sales and research. The growth of commercial and residential rooftop solar installations further boosts employment opportunities in local communities.
Longevity and Durability: Solar panels are designed to withstand various weather conditions and can have a lifespan of 25-30 years or more. With minimal maintenance requirements, PVEL certified solar panel rooftop solar systems offer a long-term energy solution that can deliver reliable power for decades.
The rooftop solar industry in the US has experienced remarkable growth, driven by falling costs, technological advancements, and supportive government policies. As of 2023, the cumulative solar capacity installed in the US has reached a significant milestone. State-level initiatives and federal government incentives have played a crucial role in promoting rooftop solar and the future is bright for the industry.