An estimated 32,800 companies in the US had solar panels — or modules that convert sunlight into electricity — installed on their roofs, as of 2013. This was a 40% increase from 2012. Walmart is the company that used the most solar power in terms of wattage, and it also had the most installations in 2013, at more than 200. Furniture retailer Ikea had solar roof panels on stores in the most US states, at 20. Ikea also was the company with the highest percentage of facilities being solar powered, at 89%. The increase in companies installing solar panels on their roofs is thought to be the result of a desire to cut electricity costs, which is often one of the top operating expenses for a business.
More about solar energy:
- One out of every three Americans are estimated to live within 20 miles of at least one company that has solar panels on its roof.
- Solar energy has been used by the space industry to provide energy on board spacecrafts since the 1960s.
- The cost of installing solar energy systems in the US dropped by about 50% from 2002 to 2012.