On April 22, 1970 — the first Earth Day — millions of Americans came together to fight for a clean, sustainable environment. At that time, the general population knew little about solar power and the massive impact it would eventually have on the conservation and protection of our planet.

Fast forward to today — a time when our country has the capacity to power 2.2 million average American homes with solar energy — and it’s hard to deny the impressive role this clean energy plays in preserving our planet.

Take a look at a few of the celebratory solar statistics from 2013 (sourced by the Solar Energy Industries Association®):

  • 2013 was another record year for the U.S. solar industry. There were 4,751 megawatts of new solar capacity installed in 2013, representing a 41% increase in deployment over installation levels in 2012.
  • Solar accounted for 29% of all new electricity generation capacity added in 2013, up from just 10% in 2012, which made solar the second largest source of new electricity generating capacity behind natural gas.
  • There were 140,000 new solar installations in the U.S. during 2013, bringing the total to over 445,000 solar systems operating today.
  • The average price of a solar panel has declined by 60% since the beginning of 2011.
  • Close to 6,000 megawatts of solar power is forecasted to come online throughout 2014, which represents 26% growth over 2013’s record installation totals.
  • Together, new solar electric capacity projected to be added in 2014 will generate enough clean energy to power over 1.13 million average American homes.

While these statistics are no doubt encouraging, the U.S. and other clean-energy-conscious countries have only scratched the surface on solar power’s potential to help transform our environment.

In fact, a report issued on April 15th by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) suggests that “catastrophic climate change can be averted if the world transitions to clean energy sources over the coming decade. … The least risky and cheapest route toward avoiding a 2C global temperature rise by 2050 is to pursue renewable energy sources – such as solar PV and wind power – at the expense of polluting fossil fuels,” according to PV magazine.

The widespread growth of solar, coupled with the findings of the IPCC report, once again reinforce LifeStyle’s belief in the importance of building solar-powered homes.

When we at LifeStyle Homes completed our first solar-powered zero-energy home in 2010, we quickly became huge proponents of solar power. Today, we’ve built 30 solar-powered homes for Central Florida residents, with many more on the way.

By choosing to invest in solar power, each and every day the owners of these solar-powered homes reduce help our planet by reducing the need to pollute the earth with greenhouse gasses and other contaminated emissions. So for them, every day is Earth Day.

Join us in celebrating solar today!