The United States’ solar market hit a major milestone in the second quarter of this year, In the second quarter of 2014, more than half a million U.S. homes and businesses were generating solar energy – a major milestone for the solar market, according to GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association’s (SEIA) whose research reveals that the U.S. installed 1,133 MW of solar photovoltaics (PV) in the second quarter of this year — up 21 percent over Q2 2013.
Across the United States, cumulative PV and concentrating solar power (CSP) operating capacity has eclipsed 15.9 GW — enough to power more than 3.2 million homes — thanks to three consecutive quarters of more than 1 GW installed, the report revealed.
“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 SEIA President and CEO Rhone Resch. “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.”
The growth is being driven primarily by the utility PV segment, which made up 55 percent of U.S. solar installations in the second quarter, accounting 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 currently, according to the research.
The researchers forecast that 6.5 GW of PV will be installed in the United States by the end of this year, up 36 percent over 2013 and more than three times the market size of just three years ago.