2013 to go down in solar history
In terms of solar records, 2013 will go down in history, according to GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association who recently released a solar market insight overview for 2013.
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In Q3 of 2013, the U.S. installed 930 MW of photovoltaics (PV) -- up 20 percent over Q2 2013 and 35 percent over Q3 2012, according to the research, representing the second largest quarter in the history of the U.S. solar market and the largest quarter ever for residential PV installations. Further, 2013 is likely to be the first time in more than 15 years that the U.S. installs more solar capacity than Germany, the current world leader, GTM forecasts.
Through Q3, residential PV installations were up 45 percent year-over-year, driven by increasingly attractive economics and by fair net metering policies. The non-residential market has seen the most difficulty with installations forecasted to stay flat over last year. The utility market continues its consistently strong installation numbers and is forecasted to exceed 1 GW in the fourth quarter, marking the first time any individual market segment has hit that target.
Solar is the second-largest source of new electricity capacity in the U.S. in 2013, trailing only natural gas, according to GTM. At the state-level, California continues to lead the solar PV charge, installing 455 MW in Q3. North Carolina moved into the number three spot in total PV installations with 23 percent growth over last quarter.
"Without a doubt, 2013 will go down as a record-shattering year for the U.S. solar industry. We've now joined Germany, China and Japan as worldwide leaders when it comes to the installation of new solar capacity. This unprecedented growth…," said Rhone Resch, SEIA president and CEO. "When it comes to preparing for America's future, clean, dependable and affordable solar energy has become the 'Little Engine That Could,' defying expectations and powering economic growth -- and, frankly, we're just scratching the surface of our industry's enormous potential."
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