The US installed 832 MW of solar in the second quarter of 2013, representing 15 percent growth over the first quarter of this year, according to GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). It was solar’s second best quarter ever.
GTM and SEIA’s report “US Solar Market Insight: 2nd Quarter 2013” finds the largest share of photovoltaic (PV) installations came from the utility sector, with 38 completed projects totaling 452 MW, a jump of 42 percent over last quarter. The residential market experienced a slight hiccup in Q2 2013, breaking its streak of incremental quarterly growth with a flat quarter, and in the non-residential (commercial) market, only 13 out of the 28 states tracked in the report showed quarterly growth.
However, the report forecasts a resumption of growth in the second half of 2013, with 4.4 GW of PV expected to come online this year, up from 3.3 GW in 2012, an overall annual growth rate of thirty percent.
As always, the solar market experienced significant variability across states in Q2 2013. California installations increased 7 percent over Q1 2013 despite the end of incentives in some states – an indicator of solar’s increasing competitiveness. Overall, 20 of the 28 states tracked in the report are on pace to increase their annual installation of solar energy over 2012.
Distributed generation is the big story in the US solar market this year, say the researchers, who expect significant growth, but with the caveat that the future will be dictated by the increasingly-complex relationship between the solar industry and utilities.
Looking at the US solar market on the whole, the report forecasts over 5 GW of PV and concentrating solar power (CSP) will be installed by the end of 2013. At that time, cumulative solar PV capacity will surpass 10 GW.