Here Comes the Sun

Past year sees nearly 30% jump in home solar activity 

August 24, 2016
solar

Photo: courtesy Skyway Electric & Solar

Nationwide solar activity increased by more than 300 percent since 2010 and by nearly 30 percent in the past year.

That's according to BuildFax, which issued its first list of the 20 fastest-growing cities for solar activity. BuildFax provides insurance carriers, lenders and real estate professionals detailed reports about the condition of residential and commercial properties.

The cost to install solar has dropped by more than 70 percent in the last decade, according to the Solar Energies Industries Association. Falling costs, increased competition and improved consumer awareness are all fueling demand. SEIA data also show:

  • A 19 percent growth in the photovoltaic market since 2014
  • A 3 percent drop in solar prices in the past year
  • 44 percent of total market share is in California
  • Expanding markets include Massachusetts, New York, and Texas

The largest cost savings for solar exits in so-called soft costs such as labor, supply chain and overhead. SEIA predicts the solar industry will install 14.5 GigaWatts of capacity by the end of 2016, nearly double the amount installed last year. It also predicts more than 5,000 residential solar installations by 2020.

The top 20 list from BuildFax includes nine cities from California, three from Nevada, three from Texas, and one each from Colorado, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, and Maryland.

Reno, Nev., North Las Vegas, and Henderson, Calif., top the list.

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