The future of solar energy looks brighter than ever. Solar adoption is at an all-time high and climbing, with the amount installed in the U.S. last year up 34 percent. There is currently enough U.S. solar installed to power 4.7 million homes, versus 10 years ago, when there was enough to power 100,000 homes.
The Obama Administration’s announcement of increased funding for innovative renewable energy research and new financial incentives to help low-income Americans go solar will only help further propel solar into the mainstream, helping to ensure that businesses, homeowners and states can implement the ambitious initiatives of the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan.
The announcement included a pledge for an additional $1 billion in loan money for innovative technologies in distributed energy projects along with $24 million for projects aimed at increasing solar panel efficiency. This is sure to result in new products and services that will give consumers more choices to meet their energy needs and to save money using new energy management tools.
As we celebrate our 30th year, the SunPower team is driven to continue innovating into the future by improving our solar technology. We’re working to provide our residential solar system, commercia solar, school, government and utility customers with complete simple solar solutions that transform the way our world is powered. And at the core of these solutions is our technology, with our silicon solar cells holding the world record for the highest efficiency1.
Eighteen of our panels can produce as much power as 25 Conventional Panels2. Combine that efficiency with our durability — our 25 year Combined Power and Product Warranty — and do the math to find out how much you can save on your electricity bills each month. You can use our solar calculator or Google's new Project Sunroof, which includes SunPower among its suggested solar providers.
We know solar energy can save users money over time, so the question is finding the right financial solution for homeowners who might be living on a fixed income.
That’s why it’s especially good news that the president’s executive announcements include concrete measures to continue making solar accessible for all, including:
- Unlocking residential Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing for single-family housing to make it easier for Americans to invest in clean energy technologies;
- Launching new federally run programs to provide homeowners with a simple way to measure and improve the energy efficiency of their homes;
- Announcing independent commitments from local governments, utilities and businesses that are driving energy efficiency initiatives in more than 300,000 low-income households;
- And investing more than $220 million in energy saving activities to help veterans and low-income homeowners lower their energy bills.
Providing solar for all
SunPower has a strong track record when it comes to making sure Americans of all income levels have access to solar energy through our partnerships with nonprofit organizations such as GRID Alternatives, which was named in the White House announcement as one of many groups that will help execute the President's initiatives.
GRID Alternatives will be among organizations distributing comprehensive energy efficiency education to low-income solar customers and enrolling those eligible into locally or federally funded low-income weatherization programs. This service ensures eligible low-income families receive energy efficiency upgrades at no cost and maximizes their financial benefit from weatherization and solar installations.
SunPower has been a partner of GRID Alternatives since 2006. Since then, according to GRID Alternatives, nearly 950 families in California, Colorado, the New York tri-state area and the Mid-Atlantic states have benefitted. With a combined 2,300 kilowatts of solar capacity installed, these families are expected to save $17 million over 25 years, the guaranteed lifespan of a SunPower® system.
Through the partnership, GRID Alternatives has provided solar training to more than 21,000 individuals, including hands-on installations. And SunPower employees have volunteered more than 2,000 hours of their time to install solar with the organization.
Overall, we believe SunPower is well-positioned to execute the nation’s ambitious goal to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels so future generations can breathe cleaner air and thrive on a healthier planet.
Globally SunPower has installed 5.8 gigawatts as of December 2014, enough to power 4.1 million homes, and we have more than 12 gigawatts in our development pipeline worldwide.
The EPA’s Clean Power Plan set the policy stage, and the president’s executive funding measures put the tools in place to make these landmark policies a reality. SunPower is ready to execute and release the clean energy of the sun to everyone.
1 Green, M. A., et. al. “Solar Cell Efficiency Tables (version 43),” Progress in Photovoltaics, 2014
2 SunPower 345W panel vs. Conventional Panel (250W, 15.3% efficient, approx. 1.6 m2)
© 2015 SunPower Corporation. All Rights Reserved. SUNPOWER and the SUNPOWER logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of SunPower Corporation in the U.S. and other countries as well.