In the United States, a solar system is installed every 4 minutes (360 solar systems per day), according to GTM Research. For such a small industry, that is massive growth. This means that, soon, the solar industry will no longer be small.
Of course, this is partly due to the fact that the US is a very large country with a population of more than 316 million people. However, this is still a tremendous growth rate, even for a country of this size. To put this into perspective, that is one solar system installed every time there is a net population increase of 18 people (based on a net gain every 13 seconds).
In 2006, only 1 solar system was installed every 80 minutes, 1/20th of what it is today!
According to a GTM article on this new finding, the US is expected to have 1 million cumulative residential solar power systems by 2016. Despite this rapid growth, complacency is not yet recommended, as the solar industry is still relatively small, and the climate change situation requires even faster growth than this.
How can this required growth increase be induced? Here are some ideas:
- Interest-free government loans for rooftop solar as an alternative to tax rebates;
- Getting homeowners that rent out their homes on board somehow;
- Apply financial incentives to the prices of solar systems up front, rather than having customers claim the rebates afterwards.