America is undergoing a twin energy boom. You may have heard about the shale revolution, which helped make natural gas plants the No. 1 new energy source in the U.S. last year.
Though not on the same scale, the rise of solar energy has been just as impressive. New photovoltaic and concentrated solar installations constituted the second-largest source of new energy in 2013, and the number of solar jobs in the U.S. climbed 20%, according to The Solar Foundation, making it one of the fastest-growing industries in the country.
With nearly a quarter of the residential installation market, Elon Musk’s SolarCity has been at the vanguard of this movement, thanks to its leasing model and its financing strategy, which includes things like solar-backed bonds.
Still, as GigaOm’s Katie Fehrenbacher reports, this could have been an opportunity that an established energy player like GE could have tapped — and GE is now acknowledging as much. She writes:
At the World Energy Innovation Forum at the Tesla factory in Fremont, Calif. this week, the CEO of GE, Jeff Immelt, said during an onstage interview that GE had focused so intently on how bad the solar panel business was that they “missed SolarCity.” “My God I wish I had thought of that,” said Immelt.
In its latest earnings presentation, SolarCity says it now expects to install a full gigawatt’s worth of solar — or up t0 1 million homes — by 2015.
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