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2013 is record-breaking year for solar industry

The solar industry reports 2013 was a record-breaking year for solar installations and forecasts a 26 percent growth rate for 2014.

According to a report in EcoWatch, GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association’s (SEIA) Solar Market Insight Year in Review 2013, photovoltaic (PV) showed installations expanded rapidly last year, increasing 41 percent over 2012 to reach 4,751 megawatts (MW) of new capacity. In addition, 410 MW of concentrating solar power (CSP) came online in 2013. Consumers nationwide benefitted from this growth as the cost to install solar fell throughout the year, ending 15 percent below the record low set at the end of 2012.

When the final 2013 numbers were added up, there were 440,000 operating solar electric systems across the U.S., totaling more than 12,000 MW of PV and 918 MW of CSP.

What does this mean for consumers? With solar becoming the fastest growing source of renewable energy in America, it is generating enough clean, reliable and affordable electricity to power more than 2.2 million homes. The solar industry reports creating 143,000 new American jobs and contributed $13.7 billion into the U.S. economy. More solar has been installed in the U.S. in the last 18 months than in the 30 previous years combined.

California continues to lead the U.S. market and installed more than half of all new U.S. solar in 2013. North Carolina, Massachusetts and Georgia also had major growth years in 2013, installing 663 megawatts (MW)—more than doubling their combined total from the year before. On the whole, the top five states (California, Arizona, North Carolina, Massachusetts and New Jersey) accounted for 81 percent of all U.S. PV installations in 2013.

According to the SEIA report:

  • The amount of PV installed last year in the U.S. was nearly 15 times greater than the amount installed in 2008.
  • The market value of all PV installations completed in 2013 was $13.7 billion.
  • Solar accounted for 29 percent of all new electricity generation capacity in 2013, up from 10 percent in 2012. This made solar the second-largest source of new generating capacity behind natural gas.
  • The new report forecasts 26 percent PV installation growth in 2014, with installations reaching nearly 6 GW. Growth will occur in all segments but will be most rapid in the residential market.
  • The U.S. installed 410 MW of concentrating solar (CSP) in 2013, increasing total CSP capacity in the U.S. more than 80 percent.

Part of this unprecedented expansion is due to the fact that the average price of a solar system has dropped by more than 50 percent since 2010, benefitting consumers, businesses, schools and government entities.

For a list of Kanas City based solar companies, visit the Greenability Marketplace at https://greenabilitymagazine.com/green-in-kc/marketplace/.

Watch a video about this solar news here.

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Duane Wood
9 years ago

No wonder utilities are starting to lobby to rollback net metering!
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gabe-elsner/utilitybacked-antisolar-bill-kansas_b_4854964.html