The USA is coming close to 16GW of installed PV generation capacity, and in the second quarter of this year alone installed 1,133MW of new PV, according to a report released today.
The latest edition of the quarterly US Solar Market Insight Report, produced jointly by the US trade body SEIA (Solar Energy Industries’ Association) and GTM Research, also found that 53% of new electricity generation capacity installed in the first half of 2014 in the US was solar.
The market was split with 55% of capacity coming from utility-scale solar, and the remainder from a combination of residential and commercial. GTM and SEIA described the utility-scale sector's performance as strong, highlighted by a statistic that showed the cumulative installed capacity of utility-scale solar was only at 1,784MW in the first half of 2012, while by the same period this year the figure stood at 7,308MW, an increase of 5,560MW. In the second quarter of this year alone, 625MW of utility-scale solar was installed.
The country’s residential sector also saw strong growth in particular this year, according to the report. According to SEIA and GTM, over 100MW of the residential solar installed in the first half of 2014 was not backed by state subsidies.
The report’s authors also gave a prediction that the USA will install 6.5GW this year in total, a 36% increase over last year. Ash Sharma, senior director of rival research firm IHS said his US prediction was for 9.5GW this year, while SunEdison founder and solar industry stalwart Jigar Shah recently told PV Tech he believed the US could install more solar than any other country in 2016, second only to China.
Finally, the completion of two vast concentrating solar power (CSP) plants made the first quarter of the year CSPs biggest quarter ever. Ivanpah, a 392MW project and the second 125MW phase of another project, Genesis Solar both came online during the period.