Speed Reads

The future has arrived

Solar panel shipments to soar 30 percent in 2014

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Growth in solar energy increased a lot last year. One third of new power resources brought online in the U.S. last year was from solar.

According to a new report out of the Solar Energy Industries Association and GTM Research, solar power had a record year in 2013, with 4.75 gigawatts of solar energy systems installed, including 2 gigawatts in just the fourth quarter alone.

That growth is going even further in 2014. Current estimates based on the first months of 2014 show solar shipments increasing 30 percent on last year:

[NPD Solarbuzz]

Why? Like computers did twenty years ago, solar energy keeps getting cheaper and more efficient, and is now just as cheap as fossil fuels in countries like Spain and Germany.

Because of this price decrease, even Big Oil sees solar as the dominant source of energy on Earth by 2100.