It may seem hard to imagine, but solar power was used as early as 700 B.C. That’s when we humans figured out how to make fire by capturing and directing sunlight using a magnifying glass. A few hundred years later, Archimedes used a similar technique while at sea to defeat his opponents. Legend has it that he and his crew used mirrors to focus the sun’s rays onto enemy ships until they caught on fire. While they didn’t know it, they were on to something big.
Today, we know that the sun is powerful enough to produce enough energy, in just one hour’s time, to fuel the world for a full year. Now that’s big. We also know how to harness that energy using solar technology – something that has improved dramatically with the creation of photovoltaic (PV) cells. The real kicker is that solar energy, unlike oil and coal, is completely clean – absolutely pollution free.
What’s not to love, right? Well yes, except that early solar technology was far less efficient and more expensive than it is today – resulting in fewer people willing to make the switch.
That’s about to change.
Sunny skies ahead
According to the U.S. Solar Market Insight Report, released by GTM Research and the Solar Energy Research Foundation, the U.S. installed 1,665 megawatts (MW) of solar PV in the first quarter of this year to reach 29.3 gigawatts (GW) of total installed capacity. That’s enough to power 5.7 million American homes. The solar industry also hit a significant milestone with more than 1 million individual solar installations nationwide. By year’s end, the industry is expected to double in size. While utility-scale installations will account for the lion’s share of this growth, the residential and commercial markets will also experience rapid expansion.
There are a number of factors driving this growth. Perhaps the most significant is the decision to extend the federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC). The federal ITC provides a 30 percent tax incentive on all solar projects. While it was originally set to expire at the end of 2016, the program will live on. Other growth drivers include an increase in community solar projects, the availability of new financing options, lower costs for residential and small business customers, and the increased awareness of the benefits of clean energy.
Solar power in New Jersey (NJ)
If you live or work in NJ, there has never been a better time to invest in solar technology for your home or business. The state has one of the fastest growing markets for solar panel installations, thanks in part to the ITC. It won’t last forever, though, so consider making the switch now so you can enjoy savings for years to come, not to mention do your part to protect and preserve the environment.
Ready to find out more? If so, the team at TerraSol Energies, Inc. is here to help. We are a family-run business that has served the solar needs of residents and business owners in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware since 2009. We take pride in creating solutions designed to meet the individual needs of each of our customers. Don’t take our word for it, though. See what they have to say, and then contact us today.