NewEnergyNews: BIG 3Q FOR U.S. SOLAR

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  • TODAY AT NewEnergyNews, December 13:

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: How California Is Easing Off NatGas With New Energy
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: Illinois cloud computing debate could open utility rate reform

    Thursday, December 20, 2012

    BIG 3Q FOR U.S. SOLAR

    New Report: 3rd Quarter U.S. Solar Energy Growth Highlighted by PV, Record Residential Installs; Year-to-date total solar surpasses 2011 annual at 2 GW; California and Arizona lead state rankings

    December 11, 2012 (Solar Energy Industries Association)

    “GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association® (SEIA®)… released the U.S. Solar Market Insight: Third Quarter 2012. The report finds that the U.S. solar photovoltaics (PV) market installed 684 megawatts (MW) in the third quarter (Q3) of 2012, representing 44 percent growth over the same period last year. This quarter marked the third largest on record for the U.S. PV industry and raised the total installed capacity through the first three quarters of the year to 1,992 MW — already surpassing 2011’s annual total of 1,885 MW.

    “Cumulatively, there are now 5.9 gigawatts (GW) of PV, which converts sunlight directly to electricity, operating in the U.S. from more than 271,000 installations. Combined with concentrating solar power facilities (CSP), which convert the sun’s heat to electricity, there are more than 6.4 GW of solar electric capacity installed in the U.S…The third quarter featured strong growth in distributed generation (DG) markets…[Residential PV] installed more than 118 MW, an all-time high for a quarter…[T]he commercial market (including governmental and institutional facilities) hit 257 MW, rising 24 percent…”

    “…[The research teams] expect third-party leased PV systems [which grew at between 57 and 91 percent in Q3] to remain a hot option in the market for homeowners into 2013 and beyond…[GTM Research forecasts a] Q4 bump in 2012 with approximately 1,200 MW to be installed. That would not only account for 38 percent of this year’s forecasted total, but would be the largest single quarter on record for the U.S. PV market by far…[producing a record 3.2 GW of solar installed [for 2012]… – enough to power more than half a million average U.S. homes.

    “System prices for PV projects in the U.S. continued their downward trajectory in third quarter 2012. Average residential system prices dropped quarter-over-quarter from $5.45 per watt to $5.21 per watt nationally while average non-residential prices declined 15 cents per watt, falling to $4.18. Average utility system prices, which are currently at $2.40 per watt, continue to see the greatest reduction in prices of the three market segments covered, falling by 30 percent since third quarter last year…”

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