U.S Solar Hits Milestone

According to Solar Energy Industries Association’s (SEIA) and GTM Research’s latest US Solar Market Insight® quarterly report, several new milestones have been set in terms of U.S. solar growth:

·         48% of new electricity capacity comes from solar power.
·         723 MW of capacity was put on the grid – 179 MW more compared to Q1 last year.

Q1 is generally the worst quarter of a year in terms of new solar growth.  As you can see on the graph below, we installed more capacity in three other quarters before. However, Q1 2013 is on the top of the list when it comes to residential installations (53% year-over-year growth).

us-solar-growth
Utility-scale projects throw the numbers out of whack:
“As always, it is important to take the utility market out of the equation when seeking meaningful conclusions from the comparison of quarterly installation figures; the utility market is simply too volatile and dependent on individual project timelines. “ writes SEIA.
One of the major forces behind the growth in residential solar are the new financial models that enable homeowners to go solar for little or no money down. SolarCity were the first to start leasing their solar panels in 2006 – and many companies have jumped on the wagon since then.
Solar leasing now accounts for 67% of residential solar in California and 86% in Arizona – similarly impressive numbers can be seen in several other states as well.
About a week ago, Affordable Solar announced that they have started offering third-party owned solar in New Mexico, which means that about three out of four American households now have access to solar leasing programs.
By 2016, SEIA and GTM anticipate the annual growth of solar at 9.2 GW.
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Guest Post by Mathias Aarre Maehlum.

Mathias is doing a Masters in Energy and Environmental Engineering. In his spare time he writes about solar power and other sources of renewable energy at his blog Energy Informative.

Original Article on Go Green Solar





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