Here’s a nice infographic our friend Amber Archangel, founder of 1Sun4All.com, just shared with me, followed by a bit more context in text form:
Some interesting facts about solar power in Texas:
- If you include all of the usable land in Texas, not just the rooftops, Texas has twice the solar potential of any other state.
- There are currently more than 266 solar companies at work throughout the value chain in Texas. Collectively, they employ more than 3,200 workers. These companies provide a wide variety of solar products and services ranging from solar system installations to the manufacturing of components used in photovoltaic panels. [Editor’s note: that’s more than the number of ranchers in the state, which range from 270 to 2,410]
- 17 MW of solar were installed in Texas in the fourth quarter of 2012. Texas ranked 10th nationally in Q4 installations of solar.
- During the entire year of 2012, Texas installed 64 MW of solar electric capacity, ranking it 10th nationally.
- Texas ranks 13th nationally in cumulative installed solar capacity. There is enough solar energy installed in the state to power 13,000 homes.
- In 2012, $75 million was invested in Texas to install solar on homes and businesses. This represents a 29% increase over the previous year, and is expected to grow again this year.
- The price for the average installed residential and commercial photovoltaic system in Texas continues to drop. It has fallen by 20 percent from last year. National prices have also dropped steadily. They have decreased by 14 percent from last year and 31 percent since 2010.
Wind turbines are common in West Texas and someday solar panels may be just as common. Environmental regulations and various market pressures have forced a significant amount of electricity generation to exit the market, while older generation sources continue to be retired. New solar generation capacity is required to meet the market’s demand for more, and sustainable, energy. With appropriate state policy that removes market barriers and recognizes the benefits of solar, the Texas solar market should see significant growth in the coming years.
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