The U.S. Solar Market Insight: Year-in-Review 2012, released by GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), provides an analysis of solar power markets in the U.S. Solar is now 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., which is enough to power 1.2 million homes. 2012 was also a year for record-breaking at the state level with California, Arizona, and New Jersey housing the largest state solar markets. The residential and utility segments had their best quarters ever in 2012, installing 144 MW and 874 MW respectively. As average residential systems prices dropped nearly 20% in one year, the residential market saw substantial growth in California, Arizona, Hawaii, Massachusetts, and New York. The non-residential segment, including commercial, governmental, and non-profit systems, installed more than 1,000 MW in 2012. Consistent policies regarding solar companies and the sustained growth of the market have enabled the creation of thousands of good jobs. “There were 16 million solar panels installed in the U.S. last year – more than 2 panels per second of the work day – and every one of these panels was bolted down by a member of the U.S. workforce,” said Rhone Resch, president and CEO of SEIA. For 2013, the report by SEIA and GTM Research forecasts 4,300 MW of new PV installations, up 29 percent over 2012, and 946 MW of concentrating solar power. Over the next four years, the residential and non-residential markets are expected to gain market share as system prices decline, the industry becomes even more efficient, and new financing channels arise.
Source: SEIA news release- U.S. Solar Market Grows 76% in 2012; Now an Increasingly-Competitive Energy Source for Millions of Americans Today, March 14 2013