Remember when those Chinese tariffs on solar in January of 2018 were supposed to kill the industry in the United States? Well, that was fake news. A funny thing happened on the way to the demise of the industry. The largest Chinese solar company, Jinko solar, announced they were opening a manufacturing plant in Jacksonville. A year later, it employees 500 people and voila that's how you get record solar installations in the US in 2019.
According to a study by the Solar Energy Industries Association, a record amount of solar installation occurred in the first quarter of 2019 in the US. Overall growth for the industry is pacing 25% year over year in the US for 2019. In May, the 2 millionth installation in the US took place. The growth is being heavily driven by utility companies, like FPL, that are aggressively moving in the direction of solar. There’s still strong growth with residential adaptation, since residential installations are up 6% year over year.
With economies of scale and technology advances, the average price for a home has fallen under $20,000 for the first time and is averaging around $14,000 after tax credits are accounted for. That’s down about $5,000 over the past two years. Once again illustrating the point that the tariffs didn’t kill the industry. Ironically enough, they made it cheaper for Americans, by increasing production in the United States.
Photo by: GENYA SAVILOV/AFP/Getty Image