A new report released in America has documented the growth in solar power over the past decade.
From 2004 to 2014, the deployment of solar energy in the U.S grew at an unprecedented rate. In 2004 there were 500 megawatts of solar energy installed nationwide, and by the end of 2014, this had increased to 20,000 megawatts – enough to power more than 4 million homes.
Investment in solar installations grew from $2.6 billion to $71 billion over the period too.
Environmentalists have championed the growth and by 2016 an estimated 45 million metric tons of carbon emissions is expected to be offset by the solar energy created.
In the same period the number of utility-scale solar projects – both PV and concentrated solar power – increased from 100 projects to nearly 1,100 projects spread across 30 states.
This growth has undoubtedly had an impact on the country’s job market within the sector. In 2004 the number of people working in the U.S. solar industry was less than 20,000, and by the end of 2014 the number of workers had risen to 174,000.