Solar energy had record year in 2016

Additions to solar energy capacity in 2016 outpaced additions to any other energy source, according to an analysis released Thursday by the Solar Energy Industries Association, a national trade group.

Solar energy capacity doubled in 2016, as compared to 2015. The growth was mainly driven by utility-scale solar installations and the dropping costs of solar equipment, which plunged 20 percent in 2016, making solar panel systems cheaper than they have ever been before.

Solar has been slower to catch on in Texas, while wind power has soared to account for a third of the power managed by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which oversees 90 percent of Texas’ electric grid. But the options for residential solar in Houston are increasing — SolarCity, Sunnova, and Green Mountain Energy all offer residential solar panels for lease.