Agoracom Blog

US Solar Market Shatters Records In Q3 $

Posted by AGORACOM-JC at 4:07 PM on Tuesday, December 13th, 2016

Energy Matters

  • 2 megawatts of solar panels were installed in the USA every hour during the third quarter of this year.
  • Based on a 260W module, that’s around 128 panels a minute; every minute of the day.

The latest  U.S. Solar Market Insight report from GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA) states 4,143 megawatts of solar PV was installed during the third quarter of the year – and the pace has picked up even more during this quarter.

Utility scale solar drove the record result in Q3, which was 99% more than Q2 2016 and 191% over Q3 2015.

“With a 90 percent favorability rating and 209,000 plus jobs, the U.S. solar industry has proven that when you combine smart policies with smart 21st century technology, consumers and businesses both benefit,” said  Tom Kimbis, interim president of SEIA.

That job tally may be substantially higher now as the figure appears to have been taken from the Solar Foundation’s National Solar Jobs Census 2015

USA solar PV installations

GTM Research forecasts 14.1 GWdc of new PV installations will be connected by the end of this year 2016, up 88% over 2015.  This will mark the first time the U.S. has eclipsed the 10 GWdc annual mark.

Utility PV is expected to account for over 70% of that new capacity.

While the residential segment was down 19% from Q2 2016, it was up 2% from Q3 2015.

Non-residential PV (which includes commercial solar) performed solidly; up 15% from Q2 2016 and up 37% from Q3 2015.

Between the first and third quarters of this year, solar made up 39% of all new electric generating capacity connected in the USA, ranking behind only natural gas.

Mr. Kimbis said while it may have taken the USA 40 years to hit 1 million solar installations, the nation is expected to reach 2 million within the next two years. It looks like our U.S. friends will eclipse Australia’s impressive ~1.6 million system total quite soon – but to be fair; there’s nearly 14 times more of them than there are of us.

More from the latest U.S. Solar Market Insight  can be viewed here.


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