Thanks to ever-increasing system efficiencies, government grants, and overall greater consumer interest, solar panel installations are consistently growing, year over year. But one region in particular is seeing exponential growth, beyond that of its contemporaries—the Northeast United States.
A new report by BuildZoom has examined the growth of solar installations over the course of the past decade, making estimates based on building permits rather than other indicators of installation. According to this report, solar racking installations grew more than 20 times over between 2005 and today, from 10,000 to 230,000 just last year. The Northeastern United States is the region most responsible for this growth, achieving a jump or more than 227 percent between 2013 and 2014.
Our nextdoor neighbors in Cleveland have seen the results of this growth as well. Currently, there are about 17 solar panel installations for each unit of 100,000 citizens.
Historically, California has been (and continues to be) the poster child for solar energy installations, accounting for nearly half of all annual solar energy installations and quadrupling the national average. Currently, there are roughly 889 solar installations for every 100,000 residents there. This skew is due in part to California’s natural sunny weather, wide open terrain, and government incentives for reducing carbon footprints and mitigating energy use.
Since Solar FlexRack is headquartered in Youngstown, Ohio, we’re excited to see that the Northeast is starting to achieve landmark growth in this area. We’ve got a long way to go to catch up with California, but with solar tracker and solar racking innovations like ours making solar panel installations more affordable than ever, there’s no better time to build this momentum.
We anticipate the growth numbers for 2015 to follow the trends set through 2014, with the Northeast region again setting the growth curve. Either way, we’ll be here, striving to make the solar mounting products that make long-term, durable, efficient solar installations possible.