Despite a continued weak economy, solar energy installation is going strong. Here are five facts about the growth in the US solar industry from April to June of this year. A related Five Friday Facts a few weeks ago looked at some of the figures behind the investment in new renewable energy projects during the second fiscal quarter of this year. All figures come from GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association U.S. Solar Market Insight: 2nd Quarter 2012 Report.
- With the addition of 477 MW of utility-scale installations, the U.S. solar market in Q2 2012 grew by 45% over Q1 2012 and 116% over Q2 2011. 742 megawatts of solar power were installed during Q2. In total, the U.S. now has 5,700 megawatts of installed solar capacity, enough to power more than 940,000 households.
- For the fourth consecutive quarter, the U.S. residential solar market grew incrementally, installing 98.2 megawatts. California, Arizona, and New Jersey led residential installations nationally, with smaller-market states of Hawaii, Massachusetts, and Maryland demonstrating strong quarter-over-quarter growth.
- In contrast to the utility and residential markets, the non-residential (e.g., commercial, government, non-profit) segment contracted, falling from 291 megawatts in Q1 2012 to 196 megawatts this quarter. Only ten of the 24 states the report tracks individually saw quarterly growth in the non-residential market in Q2 2012.
- There is now a cumulative 5,161 megawatts of PV capacity spread amongst nearly 248,000 individual systems operating in the U.S. as of the end of Q2
Concentrating Solar Power (CSP and CPV):
- As of the end of Q2 there is a cumulative of 546 megawatts concentrating solar capacity operating in the U.S.
Image source: Metropolitan Museum of Art