Solar energy has been taking the world by storm, and has been around long enough to gather powerful solar energy statistics. Home and business owners have been using it as a way to save money on their electricity bills, add value to their property, and sometimes make a little money from the utility company. It seems that if solar continues to improve, it could start to come standard on most homes. Who wouldn’t like a little free electricity?
Today we’re breaking down some of the top solar energy statistics for 2021! Let’s dive in and see what we can learn.
Want to learn more about your potential solar savings? Use our solar cost calculator.
Solar Energy Stats for 2021
- Of the total U.S. electricity generation, Solar energy accounts for 2% as of 2019.
- The U.S. had enough solar panels installed to power 16.4 million American homes by the end of Q3 2020.
- Solar power in America offsets over 100 million metric tons of carbon dioxide yearly — nearly equal to 131 million acres of forest.
- At least92.7 billion solar panels are in use throughout the world today.
- 5KW, or around 20 panels, is the average U.S. residential solar installation.
- The average cost for a solar energy system is between $10,000 and $30,000.
- America’s largest solar farm, Solar Star, is 4 times the size of Central Park and produces about 579MW.
- Since 2013, Solar has ranked in the top two in capacity added to the electric total in the U.S.
- Right now, there are about 2,500 MW of utility-scale solar being built right now.
- In just 2018, 10.6 GW of solar was installed by the US.
- As of the end of 2018, the U.S. had 64.2 GW of installed solar–enough to power 12.3 million American homes.
- Solar energy accounts for 1.6% of total U.S. electricity generation.
- The US. installed 10.6 GW of solar in 2018 alone.
- Big oil giants are going solar–they made 109 deals with solar firms between 2002 and 2017, according to Money Morning (using data from Bloomberg New Energy Finance).
- “Solar photovoltaic installer” is the fastest-growing job in America.
- America has over 242,000 solar workers – more than the coal, oil, and natural gas industries combined!
- The fastest-growing solar job market in 2018? Kansas–at 66% growth over 2017!
- Puerto Rico beats all 50 U.S. states in the percentage of solar jobs held by women at 45.1%.
- The State of California alone accounts for 38.9% of U.S. solar capacity and 31.7% of solar jobs.
- The price of solar has fallen over 70% since 2010.
- Solar panel efficiency has increased from 6% in 1954 to over 40% on high-efficiency panels today.
- Building new solar power plants can be up to $10 per MWh cheaper in some cases than continuing to run existing coal plants.
- Most solar panels have 20-year warranties, but many of the earliest-installed panels are still working 40 years later at 80% efficiency or more.
- 90-97% of a decommissioned solar panel’s materials can be recycled or sold.
- Enough of the sun’s energy reaches Earth every hour to power society for a year.
- According to NREL, solar on rooftops would be enough to supply about 40% of total U.S. electricity.
- 21,250 square miles of solar panels could meet the country’s electric needs. That’s about half of the land leased by oil and gas and about 0.5% of American land.
- Every second, the sun produces enough energy to provide the earth with power for 500,000 years.
One Year of Solar Saves
- 18,000 miles of driving.
- 1,000,000 full smartphone charges.
- 12,500 pounds of carbon emission.
- 8,000 pounds of coal.
- 122 trees.
As you can see, solar is definitely more than just a hot topic. With a continued rise in popularity, you can see why these stats will continue to improve. As solar becomes an even more efficient source of energy, we hope that it will continue to help offset the cost of electricity and make our planet a better place for everyone.
If you’re interested in learning more about solar and how you could use it on your property, check out our solar calculator. You’ll be able to see how much solar your home needs and how much money it will help you save.