Solar Tribune

Report: Q3 2013 a record for home solar in the U.S.


The third quarter of 2013 saw the second-highest installed PV capacity in U.S. history, with 930 MW installed in Q3 2013, according to a new report.

The latest  U.S. Solar Market Insight™ report, from the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and GTM Research, also predicts that in 2013 the U.S. will install more PV capacity than Germany (the world leader in solar) for the first time in over 15 years.

The 930 MW figure is a 20 percent jump on the last quarter, and 35 percent more than the same quarter in 2012.

The report also found that the home solar market had it’s biggest quarter ever, with 186 MW of installed capacity, though the utility segment still represents over 50 percent of new installed PV capacity.

All in all, the report forecasts a 27 percent year-on-year increase in annual PV installations, up to 4.3 GW in 2013. By year’s end, there will be over 400,000 installations in operation across the U.S., and potentially over 50 percent growth in residential solar installations year-on-year.

Credit:  U.S. Solar Market Insight Q3 2013

Credit: U.S. Solar Market Insight Q3 2013

“Without a doubt, 2013 will go down as a record-shattering year for the U.S. solar industry,” said Rhone Resch, SEIA president and CEO.  “We’ve now joined Germany, China and Japan as worldwide leaders when it comes to the installation of new solar capacity.”

“When it comes to preparing for America’s future, clean, dependable and affordable solar energy has become the ‘Little Engine That Could,’ defying expectations and powering economic growth – and, frankly, we’re just scratching the surface of our industry’s enormous potential,” he continued.

However, the non-residential market has had a difficult year, thanks, in part, to challenges to net metering and other legislation in key states. But SEIA and GTM Research predict a rebound in 2014.

“Solar is the second-largest source of new electricity capacity in the U.S. this year, trailing only natural gas,” said Shayle Kann, vice president of research at GTM. “As solar continues its march toward ubiquity, the market will require continued innovation, efficiency improvement and regulatory clarity. But already the groundwork has been laid for a mainstream solar future.”

Other highlights include:

  • almost 31,000 individual home installations completed in Q3 2013, bringing the cumulative total in the U.S. to 360,000.

  • 52 utility PV projects completed in Q3 2013, with a total capacity of 539 MW

  • compared to Q2 2013, the national average system price fell 4.2%, from $3.13/W to $3.00/W, representing a 16.4% decline from $3.59/W in Q3 2012.

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