Solar in America: Strong and Getting Stronger More than 100,000 Americans work in the solar industry, double the number since 2009. They work at more than 5,000 companies, the vast majority being small businesses, in every state.
In the last year, solar grew by 69 percent, making it one of the fastest growing sectors in the economy. Since the start of 2010, the price of solar panels dropped by 30 percent.
The U.S. was a net exporter of solar products in 2010 by $2 billion, even to China.
Solar power in the U.S. now exceeds 3,100 megawatts, enough to power more than 630,000 American homes.
Solyndra in Perspective The Solyndra bankruptcy is not indicative of the health of the U.S. solar industry and, as with any competitive and dynamic market, some companies will prosper and others will fail.
Despite support from the federal government, Solyndra failed due to an unsustainable business model, as the company faced pressure from cheaper solar panels and simply could not compete in a high-tech, dynamic market.
Competition in the solar industry is good for American consumers. It drives down costs, making solar affordable for more and more Americans every day.
The Loan Guarantee Program Throughout our history, every energy resource in America has enjoyed federal support including oil, nuclear, natural gas, coal and, just recently, renewables.
Despite the Solyndra bankruptcy, the Department of Energy Loan Guarantee Program helps make solar power cheaper and more affordable for businesses and homeowners. Each program dollar leverages $13 in private investment.
As of September 16, 2011, DOE has made commitments to 42 energy projects, sparking private investment of more than $40 billion that will create tens of thousands of jobs nationwide.
What the Future Holds The U.S. is projected to become the world’s largest solar market by 2014.Solar is already the fastest growing energy sector in the U.S. and by 2014 it will likely be the largest source of new electric capacity in America.
In 2010 and 2011 alone, 27 new U.S. solar manufacturing facilities have begun or will begin operations across America, including in Arizona, Ohio, Michigan, Mississippi, Pennsylvania and Tennessee.