US Solar Industry Continues Rapid Growth

This was a huge week for fans of clean energy. 

First, Telsa Motors announced that it would build a new factory in Nevada, employing 6,500 workers.  Then Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid vowed to hold a vote later this year on green energy tax credits.  That important announcement was quickly followed by news that the U.S. solar market hit a major 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.

Across the United States, cumulative PV and concentrating solar power (CSP) operating capacity has reached nearly 16 gigawatts (GW), enough to power more than 3.2 million homes.

Simply put, solar continues to soar, providing more and more homes, businesses, schools and government entities across the United States with clean, reliable and affordable electricity. 

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 five straight quarters. 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.

GTM Research and SEIA forecast 6.5 GW of PV will be installed in the United States by the end of this year.

Here are some of the report’s key findings:

  • The U.S. installed 1,133 MW of solar PV in Q2 2014, up 21 percent over Q2 2013, making it the fourth-largest quarter for solar installations in the history of the market.
  • Cumulative operating PV capacity has now eclipsed the 15 GW mark thanks to three consecutive quarters of more than 1 GW installed.
  • As of the first half of 2014, more than half a million homeowners and commercial customers have installed solar PV.
  • 53 percent of new electric generating capacity in the U.S. in the first half of 2014 came from solar.
  • Growth remains driven primarily by the utility solar PV market, which installed 625 MW in Q2 2014, up from 543 MW in Q2 2013.

The report also forecasts that PV installations will reach 6.5 GW in 2014, up 36 percent over 2013 and more than three times the market size of just three years ago, while CSP will have its best year ever.

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.

Any way you look at it, this was a big week for clean energy – but an even bigger year so far for solar.

Добавить комментарий

Ваш e-mail не будет опубликован. Обязательные поля помечены *