NJ drives 1/3 of US solar, adds 33% to state grid

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New research reports that solar is the fastest growing energy source in the U.S. at a record setting 3,313 MW of solar PV installed in 2012, according to a report from the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and GTM Research -- growing the market 34 percent from $8.6 billion in 2011 to $11.5 billion in 2012.

New Jersey added more than 33 percent to its power grid in 2012 and was solely responsible for almost one-third of the country's non-residential installations, including business, government and non-profit, surpassing 1 GW of installed capacity for the state. New Jersey ranks third in the nation for solar installations -- one of just three states that have hit the 1 GW mark. California and Arizona rank first and second, respectively.

New Jersey's solar industry flourishes, in part, from system installation prices that have fallen 27 percent over the past year and progressive policies such net metering and the country's first market-based Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC) incentive program.

"New Jersey policymakers and regulators have consistently been at the forefront, driving the state's solar market," said Carrie Hitt, senior vice president of state affairs for SEIA. "Although the New Jersey solar market has seen volatility, we are confident that New Jersey will continue to be a leader, both in innovating policy mechanisms to grow the industry and in installing solar to power homes and businesses."

Across the U.S., falling solar prices drove installations 76 percent in 2012. PV system prices fell 27 percent in 2012, reaching $5.04/W in the residential market, $4.27/W in the non-residential market, and $2.27/W in the utility market, according to the research.

In 2013, the market will continue to grow with more than 4,200 MW of PV and 940 MW of concentrating solar power coming online in 2013, the research projects.

For more:
- see this report

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