Solar energy use in homes and businesses throughout the United States is going through a period of enormous growth. If you’re looking to get into the solar business, there’s never been a bigger opportunity for gaining customers and improving the planet. According to data from the Solar Energies Industry Association (SEIA), solar has experienced a compound annual growth rate of more than a 60 percent in the last decade. This growth indicates there is an urgent need for suppliers of solar energy, including franchisees.
Growth in the Solar Industry
Demand from homes and business that recognize solar as a cost-effective and environmentally friendly way to produce energy are driving unprecedented growth in the industry. Here are some key facts about the expansion of solar that SEIA released in 2016:
- More than 4 gigawatts of energy capacity produced by solar were installed in the third quarter of 2016. This represents the largest quarter ever.
- About 36 gigawatts of solar capacity are now installed throughout the United States. This is enough to power more than 6 million homes full time.
- Solar prices dropped by 19 percent in a year period from the third quarter of 2015 to the third quarter of 2016. There has been a 62 percent drop in prices over the last 5 years.
- Out of all new electrical capacity installed through the third quarter of 2016, 39 percent was solar. Projections indicated that this trend will continue.
Keeping up with this growth has produced many solar business opportunities for employers and employees. Around 209,000 employees worked in the solar industry as of 2016, and that number is expected to rise to 360,000.
Price Declines Continue
One of the biggest factors in the expansion of solar over the past decade has been the drastic reduction in prices, especially when compared with more traditional sources of energy production. The biggest declines have occurred in soft costs, which are the expenses associated with labor, supply chains, and overhead. Reductions in these costs have largely been driven by efforts by the U.S. Department of Energy and SEIA to streamline permitting processes and break down state and local barriers. As a franchise owner, these prices have a big effect on your overall costs.
While residential solar installations have shown the largest growth numbers, every sector of the economy is taking advantage of the solar revolution. This creates solar business opportunities for entrepreneurs who are willing to meet demand in markets that are currently underserved. Utility-scale growth continues to outpace non-residential PV installations, but there is still plenty of room to fulfill demand. When opening a solar franchise, you’ll benefit from looking at every available sector for solar business opportunities.
By the end of the decade, SEIA projects that there will be 20 gigawatts of solar capacity installed annually and more than 100 gigawatts of total capacity nationwide. If you want to take advantage of these exciting stats through franchising opportunities, contact an expert at SuperGreen Solutions today.