NewEnergyNews: U.S SOLAR BOOMING

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    Thursday, December 13, 2012

    U.S SOLAR BOOMING

    US Solar PV Installs 684MW in Q3, Looking for Huge Q4; Year-to-date total solar surpasses 2011 annual at 2 GW; California and Arizona lead states rankings.

    December 11, 2012 (Greentech Media)

    “GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association® (SEIA®)…released the U.S. Solar Market Insight: Third Quarter 2012…[T]he U.S. solar photovoltaics (PV) market installed 684 megawatts 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 megawatts -- already surpassing 2011’s annual total of 1,885 megawatts.

    “Cumulatively, there are now 5.9 gigawatts of PV (which converts sunlight directly into 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 gigawatts of solar electric capacity installed in the U.S…[T]he residential PV sector installed more than 118 megawatts, an all-time high for a quarter, while the commercial market (including governmental and institutional facilities) hit 257 megawatts, rising 24 percent above last quarter…”

    “Historically, Q4 has been the strongest for PV installations in the U.S. In 2010 and 2011, Q4 represented 41 percent and 42 percent of annual installations, respectively. U.S. Solar Market Insight® forecasts a similar Q4 bump in 2012 with approximately 1,200 megawatts 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…Q4 2012 will also be exceptionally strong for CSP installations, with more than 140 megawatts slated to go online. SEIA and GTM Research expect 2012 growth to top 70 percent with a record 3.2 gigawatts of solar installed…

    “System prices for PV projects in the U.S. continued their downward trajectory in the third quarter of 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. 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 the third quarter of last year.”

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