How Many Homes Have Rooftop Solar? The Number Keeps Growing . . .

by Laura Wisland, Senior Energy Analyst, Union of Concerned Scientists

Remember when the most likely place to glimpse solar in action was the little strip attached to a pocket calculator? Well, fortunately solar photovoltaic (PV) technologies have come a long way, and now it’s common to see PV panels on residential and commercial rooftops around the country. This dramatic rise in residential solar PV installations is depicted below in UCS’s new solar infographic. From 2006 to 2013, the number of homes with solar grew by more than 1,000 percent.

Solar growth predicted to continue
As explained by the infographic and in our new report, Solar Power on the Rise, solar installations are likely to continue increasing at an impressive rate. Projections from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) suggest we’re headed to almost 1 million homes by 2020 (DOE Annual Energy Outlook 2014). If solar costs significantly decline from today’s levels, DOE’s SunShot study predicts that solar installations could grow to nearly 4 million homes by 2020.

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Solar Power on the Rise: The Technologies and Policies Behind a Booming Energy Sector (2014)