US solar sees record growth in 2015 [Infographic]
The U.S. solar industry saw record capacity growth, as well as economic and environmental gains in 2015.
The U.S. solar industry saw record growth in 2015. According to data compiled by the Solar Energy Industries Association, 7,260 megawatts of new solar generating capacity came online last year. That brought the U.S. total to 27.4 gigawatts of installed capacity, enough to power 5.4 million American homes.
In its quarterly U.S. Solar Market Insight report, SEIA noted that more than 900,000 individual solar projects are now delivering renewable energy throughout the U.S. every day. The organization predicted the millionth U.S. solar system would come online by the second quarter of 2016.
The residential sector saw its largest annual growth to date last year, and maintained more than 50 percent growth rate for the fourth consecutive year. SEIA found 784,000 U.S. homes and businesses now have solar projects. On average, a new PV system is installed on a home or business every 2 minutes.
Economic and environmental gains
Thanks to the increased presence of renewable energy sources, the U.S. is continuing to lower its carbon footprint and reduce the amount of greenhouse gasses entering the atmosphere. Projections from the Energy Information Administration found emissions of carbon dioxide decreased by 2.4 percent in 2015. If the current rates of wind and solar adoption continue, emissions are forecast to decrease again in 2016.
Meanwhile, The Solar Foundation's National Solar Jobs Census for 2015 found the solar industry added workers at a rate nearly 12 times faster than the overall economy. Solar accounted for 1 out of every 83 new U.S. jobs last year, or 1.2 percent of the national job growth. The solar workforce also showed greater diversity than many other sectors, with women representing 24 percent of solar workers.
As the world's leading solar manufacturer, Trina Solar is committed to the growth of the solar industry as a way to provide quality jobs and a more sustainable future.