GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) has recently released the U.S. Solar Market Insight: Year-in-Review 2012. According to the report, solar is the fastest growing energy source in the U.S. The Solar Market Insight annual edition shows the U.S. installed 3,313 megawatts (MW) of solar photovoltaics (PV) in 2012, a record for the industry.
Even with the cost of solar falling for consumers, the market size of the U.S. solar industry grew 34 percent from $8.6 billion in 2011 to $11.5 billion in 2012—not counting billions of dollars in other economic benefits across states and communities. As of the end of 2012, there were 7,221 MW of PV and 546 MW of concentrating solar power (CSP) online in the U.S.– enough to power 1.2 million homes.
At the state level, 2012 was another year for breaking records. California became the first state to install over 1,000 MW in one year, with growth across all market segments. Arizona came in as the second largest market, led by large-scale utility installations, while New Jersey experienced growth in the state’s non-residential market. The top 10 largest state solar markets in 2012 were: 1. California – 1,033; 2. Arizona – 710; 3. New Jersey – 415; 4. Nevada – 198; 5. North Carolina – 132; 6. Massachusetts – 129; 7. Hawaii – 109; 8. Maryland – 74; 9. Texas – 64; 10. New York – 60 MW of PV installed during 2012.
Key Report Findings include:
- PV installations grew 76% in 2012 to reach 3,313 MW
- There are now more than 300,000 PV systems operating across the U.S.
- The U.S. installed 11% of all global PV in 2012, the highest market share in at least fifteen years
- Cumulative PV capacity operating in the U.S. as of the end of 2012 stood at 7,221 MW and cumulative operating concentrating solar stood at 546 MW
- Twelve states installed over 50 MW of solar each in 2012, up from eight in 2011
- Weighted average PV system prices fell 27% 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
There were over 90,000 solar installations in 2012, including 83,000 in the residential market alone. The non-residential segment, which includes commercial, governmental, and non-profit systems, installed more than 1,000 MW in 2012. Leading non-residential markets included California, New Jersey, Arizona, Massachusetts, and Hawaii.