Over Half a Million Solar Installations Now Online in U.S.
The U.S. Solar market enjoyed a solid Q2, with photovoltaic (PV) installations topping the gigawatt mark for the third consecutive quarter to settle at 1,133 megawatts (MW). This performance represents 21% growth over Q2 of last year and brings cumulative installed solar capacity to 15,900 MW. There are now more than half a million homes and businesses nationwide with a solar installation. Through the first half of the year, 53% of all new electric capacity installed has come from solar. (All data from SEIA/GTM Research “U.S. Solar Market Insight: Q2 2014” unless otherwise noted.)
Installations Continue to Boom
- There are now over 15,900 MW of cumulative solar electric capacity operating in the U.S., enough to power more than 3.2 million average American homes.
- With over 42,000 installations in Q2, more than half a million homes and businesses have now gone solar. Through the first half of the year, a new solar project has been installed every 3.2 minutes.
- All three PV market segments grew significantly year over year, with 247 MW of residential, 261 MW of non-residential and 625 MW of utility installations coming online in Q2 2014.
Falling Costs Make Solar More Affordable
- Year-over-year, the national average PV installed system price declined by 9% to $2.73/watt in Q2 2014.
- The average price of a residential PV installation in Q2 2014 was $3.92/watt, 41% lower than 2010. The graphic below shows the component cost breakdown for a sample residential system.
- Since the second quarter of 2010, the average price of a solar panel has declined by 64%.
Another Record Year of Installations
- Over 6,500 MW of PV is forecasted to come online in 2014, representive 36% growth over 2013's record installation levels.
- 2014 will be a record year for CSP as 857 MW is expected to be commissioned by years end.
- Together, the new solar electric capacity projected to be added in 2014 will generate enough clean energy to power over 1.5 million average American homes.
Solar Helps Fortune 500 Companies Save Money
Data from SEIA's annual Solar Means Business report show that major U.S. corporations, including Walmart, IKEA and Macy's, are going solar at an incredible rate. The top 25 corporate solar users in America have installed more than 569 MW of capacity at 1,100 different facilities across the country as of August 2014.
- 129 million people - 41 percent of Americans - live within 20 miles of at least one of the solar installations reviewed for the report (see the map below).
- The average price of a completed commercial PV project in Q2 2014 has dropped by 14 percent year over year and by more than 45 percent since 2012.
- The top 25 corporate users have more than doubled their solar capacity since 2012.
For SEIA Members, there are even more resources available. Have all the industry data right at your fingertips with our handy cheat sheets, the Solar Means Business and Solar Market Insight Cheat Sheets are meant for you to print out and have at your desk. It summarizes top-line data from the full reports. Download them now.
In addition, SEIA compiles all of the Major Solar Projects across the U.S. into an ongoing list. Members have access to a sortable Excel file of the MSP list. Click here to download a copy.
As the solar industry grows, so does its impact on the economy. According to The Solar Foundation's Solar Job Census 2013, there are nearly 143,000 solar workers in the U.S., a nearly 20 percent increase over employment totals in 2012. These workers are employed at 6,100 businesses operating at over 7,800 locations in every state. The increasing value of solar installations has injected life into the U.S. economy as well. In 2013, solar electric installations were valued at $13.7 billion, compared to $11.5 billion in 2012 and $8.6 billion in 2011.
Solar Companies Across the United States from
SEIA's National Solar Database