Bookmark and Share

Solar Becomes The Largest Source Of Installed Energy For US In 2016 Beating Wind,Coal & Gas

0 Comment

Solar Boom In The U.S.

The world’s 2nd largest market USA saw a massive growth of 95% in 2016 with more than 14 GW of solar energy capacity installed. This meant that solar energy beat all other energy sources such as coal, gas and wind in terms of megawatts installed. Falling solar costs has meant that solar energy can be installed for as low as 3-4 cents/kWh, making it competitive with other forms of energy. The main driver for solar energy has become economics rather than its green advantage.

Solar Panels USA

Even wind energy did extremely well accounting for more than 5 GW of capacity as wind costs have also come down drastically with improving technology, such as larger rotor diameters and taller tower heights. While the utility segment continued to be the main growth factor behind the stupdendous growth of solar panel energy in the U.S, others such as residential and commercial segments also showed decent growth. Though the new Trump administration is not pro-solar, the fact that solar energy is now cheaper than coal in a lot of places means that economics is alone driving the growth of solar energy in USA.

More Solar Jobs Than Coal Jobs in The U.S.

A bipartisan group of 20 state governors have also written their support for solar energy in the U.S saying that “the growth of the renewable energy industry is an American success story built on federal research and development and policy leadership”. Some of the major solar installing states such as California, New York, Massachusetts, Colorado and Hawaii have voiced their support for continuing incentives for solar energy. A recent report indicates that solar jobs grew by 25% in 2016 and now solar jobs in the U.S exceed that of coal jobs. This makes it more difficult for Trump to cut off funding for solar energy initiatives as creating more American jobs is one of his prime policy goals.

Irrespective of what Trump does in the short term, the inevitable growth of solar cannot be denied. The cost trajectory is going down which makes solar more and more competitive with other energy sources. This will make it harder for fossil fuel industry to develop a case for their companies. With a cheaper greener alternative, fossil fuel faces a dead end future. Canada and UK have already called for a complete end to coal powered power generation over the next 10-15 years.


Sneha Shah

I am Sneha, the Editor-in-chief for the Blog. We would be glad to receive suggestions, inputs & comments on GWI from you guys to keep it going! You can contact me for consultancy/trade inquires by writing an email to

No Responses so far | Have Your Say!