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Published on October 8th, 2012 | by John Farrell


Average Size of Solar in the United States: Small

October 8th, 2012 by  

It often seems like big progress on clean energy only comes in big pieces, but in solar power the sweet spot is small. The following infographic from ILSR shows that the average size of installed solar PV in the U.S. is just 34 kilowatts, enough to power about 7 homes.

This post originally appeared on ILSR’s Energy Self-Reliant States blog.

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About the Author

directs the Democratic Energy program at ILSR and he focuses on energy policy developments that best expand the benefits of local ownership and dispersed generation of renewable energy. His seminal paper, Democratizing the Electricity System, describes how to blast the roadblocks to distributed renewable energy generation, and how such small-scale renewable energy projects are the key to the biggest strides in renewable energy development.   Farrell also authored the landmark report Energy Self-Reliant States, which serves as the definitive energy atlas for the United States, detailing the state-by-state renewable electricity generation potential. Farrell regularly provides discussion and analysis of distributed renewable energy policy on his blog, Energy Self-Reliant States (energyselfreliantstates.org), and articles are regularly syndicated on Grist and Renewable Energy World.   John Farrell can also be found on Twitter @johnffarrell, or at jfarrell@ilsr.org.

  • Hey, where’d those figures come from? If a family has a $200 electric bill, on the latitude Pa/Nj is on, it would take 10kw, not, 5 to produce that amount of power…..unless the utility was only charging .06 delivered….which no one does…..here, PECO is .18 delivered……there is no point in stats which exclude delivery costs in a comparitative analysis, because it is in the billing price….
    34kw, will power only 3.4 homes with an average electric bill of $200….that’s the average bill, yr round…..for homes with other than electric heat…..less in the winter….much more in the summer due to air conditioning.
    These stats are readily available, please make sure you inform the readers, using accurate stats…..Clean Technica shoulod, mideally, provide as, or more realistic info than the regular newspapers.

    • Bob_Wallace

      Perhaps most solar systems are being installed in places that have more solar hours than at your latitude.

      You’re generalizing from the second lowest solar hour part of the lower 48 to the entire 48 states. Just moving from Zone 5 (4.2 solar hours) to Zone 4 (4.5 solar hours) drops the required system size to 8kW.

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