- The cost of going solar has dropped in New York by 44 percent over the past five years, a trend that’s playing out across the country.
Solar energy has become one of the fastest growing industries in the nation, according to a report by the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
It was up to 14 percent cheaper to install residential and commercial solar systems last year than it was in 2011, according to the report. Prices have dropped an average of up to 7 percent per year since 1998.
Rensselaer, NY-based Monolith Solar Associates unveiled its latest solar energy installation in Albany Monday. The company’s vice president Steven Erby said the industry is growing in the state because of the decrease in cost for people and businesses to go green.
The main factors that led to a drop in solar costs include the decrease in system prices such as inverters, mounting hardware, permitting and fees. Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s NY Sun Initiative also has helped to make the industry more affordable.
The solar industry currently provides about 120,000 jobs at more than 5,600 companies nationally, the report said. Solar job growth has doubled in the last three years, particularly among small businesses.
In the first quarter of this year, solar energy installations accounted for more than 48 percent of new electric capacity installed throughout the country.
- Haley Viccaro
- Reporter-The Business Review