BOSTON and WASHINGTON — The United States’ solar market hit a new milestone in the second quarter of this year, with more than half a million homes and businesses now generating solar energy. According to GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association’s (SEIA) Q2 2014 U.S. Solar Market Insight Report, the U.S. installed 1,133 megawatts (MW) of solar photovoltaics (PV) in the second quarter of this year.
The residential and commercial segments accounted for nearly half of all solar PV installations in the quarter. The residential market has seen the most consistent growth of any segment for years, and its momentum shows no signs of slowing down, said the organizations.
Across the United States, cumulative PV and concentrating solar power (CSP) operating capacity has eclipsed 15.9 gigawatts (GW), enough to power more than 3.2 million homes.
“Solar continues to soar, providing more and more homes, businesses, schools, and government entities across the United States with clean, reliable, and affordable electricity,” said Rhone Resch, SEIA president and CEO. “Today, the solar industry employs 143,000 Americans and pumps nearly $15 billion a year into our economy. This remarkable growth is due, in large part, to smart and effective public policies, such as the solar investment tax credit (ITC), net energy metering (NEM), and renewable portfolio standards (RPS). By any measurement, these policies are paying huge dividends for both the U.S. economy and our environment — and should be maintained, if not expanded, given their tremendous success, as well as their importance to America’s future.”
Showing continued strength, the utility PV segment made up 55 percent of U.S. solar installations in the second quarter of the year. It has accounted for more than half of national PV installations for the fifth straight quarter. In just two years, the utility segment has quadrupled its cumulative size, growing from 1,784 MW in the first half of 2012 to 7,308 MW today.
“Solar continues to be a primary source of new electric generation capacity in the U.S.” said Shayle Kann, senior vice president at GTM Research. “With new sources of capital being unlocked, design and engineering innovations reducing system prices, and sales channels rapidly diversifying, the solar market is quickly gaining steam to drive significant growth for the next few years.”
GTM Research and SEIA forecast 6.5 GW of PV will be installed in the United States by the end of this year, up 36 percent over 2013.
For more information, visit www.seia.org/smi.
Publication date: 9/15/2014