Solar accounted for a record 53 percent of all new electric generation capacity installed nationwide in the first half of 2014.

The future is now

By the end of this year, the U.S. is expected to have more than 20 GW of installed solar capacity, enough to effectively power nearly 4 million homes in America — or every single home in a state the size of Massachusetts or New Jersey — with another 20 GW in the pipeline for 2015-16.

Exponential growth

"By the end of this year, the U.S. is expected to have more than 20 GW of installed solar capacity, enough to effectively power nearly 4 million homes in America – or every single home in a state the size of Massachusetts or New Jersey – with another 20 GW in the pipeline for 2015-16."

What’s spurring this rapid growth? For one thing, solar energy is now more affordable than ever. National blended average system prices have dropped 53 percent since 2010.

Additionally, solar will help to offset an estimated 20 million metric tons of harmful CO2 emissions in 2014, which is the equivalent of taking 4 million cars off U.S. highways, saving 2.1 billion gallons of gasoline or shuttering half a dozen coal-fired power plants.

Today, the solar industry employs 143,000 Americans and pumps nearly $20 billion a year into the economy. This remarkable growth is due, in large part, to smart, effective public policies, such as the solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), Net Energy Metering (NEM) and Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS).

By any measurement, these policies are paying huge dividends for both our economy and the environment.