Why 2015 Will Be the Year of Solar Energy

Travis Hoium
December 31, 2014
Daily Finance
Whether you realize it or not, solar energy is becoming a more and more important part of our energy future. In 2013, 29 percent of new electricity-generating capacity in the U.S. was solar energy, and so far in 2014, 36 percent of new capacity is solar.Men installing solar photovoltaic panels at sunset

Falling costs and improving technology will drive wider adoption, and 2015 could be a tipping point, bringing the solar industry to new parts of the country.

The Year Solar Caught On in the U.S.

2014 has been the start of consumers and utilities alike understanding the positive impact solar can make. GTM Research expects about 6.5 GW of solar energy to be installed in the U.S. in 2014, enough to power nearly 1.1 million homes. But over half of those installations fall in a relatively small area in California and Arizona, so this isn't a nationwide trend -- yet.

You can see below that 10 states (not including Hawaii, where solar has long been cost-competitive) are now seeing residential solar systems cost-competitive with the grid, and by 2017 the estimated number jumps to 28 states. In 2015, a growing infrastructure from solar installers will bring solar to new states, expanding the industry's reach.