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US Installs 832MW of Solar PV in Q2 2013

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GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) have released U.S. Solar Market Insight: 2nd Quarter 2013, with strategic state-specific data for 28 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.

Showing continued growth in the solar market, this quarter’s report finds that the U.S. installed 832MW in Q2 2013, representing 15% growth over the first quarter of this year. It was solar’s second best quarter ever.

The largest share of photovoltaic (PV) installations came from the utility sector, with 38 completed projects totaling 452MW, a jump of 42% over last quarter. The residential market experienced a slight hiccup in Q2 2013, breaking its streak of incremental quarterly growth with a flat quarter, and in the non-residential (commercial) market, only 13 out of the 28 states tracked in the report showed quarterly growth. However, the report forecasts a resumption of growth in the second half of 2013, with 4.4GW of PV expected to come online this year, up from 3.3GW in 2012, an overall annual growth rate of 30%.

As always, the solar market experienced significant variability across states in Q2 2013. California installations increased 7% over Q1 2013 despite the end of incentives in some states – an indicator of solar’s increasing competitiveness. Overall, 20 of the 28 states tracked in the report are on pace to increase their annual installation of solar energy over 2012.

Looking at the U.S. solar market on the whole, U.S. Solar Market Insight: 2nd Quarter 2013 forecasts over 5GW of PV and concentrating solar power (CSP) will be installed by the end of 2013. At that time, cumulative solar PV capacity will surpass 10GW.

“America’s solar energy industry remains on course to have another record-shattering year,” says SEIA President and CEO Rhone Resch. “Today, there’s more than 9,370MW of total solar electric capacity across the U.S. – enough to power more than 1.5 million American homes, including the White House. We’re helping to create new jobs, grow the U.S. economy, strengthen our nation’s long-term energy security and fight climate change. That’s a win-win in anyone’s book.”

Key Report Findings

  • PV installations totaled 832MW in Q2 2013, up 15% over Q1 2013
  • Cumulative operating PV capacity in the U.S. now stands at 8,858MW
  • 4,372MW of PV are forecast to be installed in 2013, up from 3,366MW in 2012, a 30% growth rate
  • The utility market completed 38 projects totaling 452MW; there are currently 4.1GW of utility-scale projects in construction
  • The residential market was flat quarter-over-quarter, breaking its streak of incremental quarterly growth
  • The non-residential market was down in Q2, continuing a relatively light year for the segment
  • BrightSource Energy’s 392MWac Ivanpah CSP project is on schedule to deliver electricity to the grid in late 2013

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