U.S. solar market boomed in 2012 with 76% growth in installations, report says

Posted on March 14, 2013

Solar energy capacity grew by 76 percent in 2012, according to a report released Thursday by GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association.

The report said most of the growth was in California, Arizona and New Jersey – the largest solar markets – but it also said that Florida ranks third in the nation for development of solar rooftop systems.

According to a news release, solar is the fastest-growing energy source in the U.S., and the following facts were noted:

• In 2012, there were 3,313 megawatts of solar photovoltaics installed, a record for the industry.

• Expansion occurs as the cost of solar falls for consumers, and the U.S. market grew 34 percent – to $11.5 billion in 2012 from $8.6 billion in 2011.

• At of the end of 2012, there were 7,221 megawatts of photovoltaics and 546 megawatts of concentrating solar power online in the U.S. – enough to power 1.2 million homes.

• California became the first state to install more than 1,000 megawatts in one year.

GTM Research VP Shayle Kann said in the release that the market value of U.S. solar installations reached $11.5 billion in 2012, up from just $3.6 billion in 2009.

He said GTM expects another strong year, driven in part by new mechanisms to increase the availability and lower the cost of solar project financing.

Paul Brinkmann, South Florida Business Journal.