US Hits 7.7 GW Of Cumulative PV Capacity

Author:Cheryl Kaften     Source:PV Magazine     Click:432     Publish time:2013/3/15 14:48:32

On the back of another record year for the U.S. PV market, which saw 3.31 GW installed, 2013 forecasts are for 4.3 GW of new capacity. However, while utility-scale projects dominated the PV landscape in 2012, the sector is not expected to lead this year. Three future trends have further been identified.

The "powers that be" in the U.S. energy industry have accepted, adopted – and now are advocating for – solar power, according to a new report conducted on behalf of the Washington, DC-based Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA) by Boston-based GTM Research.

Overall, U.S. utility-scale PV sector (1 MW and larger) grew more than any other in 2012, more than doubling its 2011 results to reach 1.782 GW or 132% growth in installed capacity.

Despite the fears of the downstream side of the industry, the resolution of the antidumping (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) complaints by U.S. solar manufacturers against their Chinese competitors – and the imposition of punitive tariffs on China’s solar cells – have had little effect.

Instead, the report, "U.S. Solar Market Insight Report: 2012 Year in Review," finds that America saw a historic spike in installations. Specifically, U.S. PV deployments grew by 76% over 2011, to a record-breaking total 90,000 installations or 3.31 GW in 2012, with an estimated market value of US$11.5 billion (€8.8 billion). As such, cumulative PV capacity is now sitting at 7.7 GW.

"There were 16 million solar panels installed in the U.S. last year – more than two panels per second of the work day – and every one of these panels was bolted down by an American," said Rhone Resch, president and CEO of SEIA, adding, "We’ve brought more new solar online in 2012 than in the three prior years combined ... This growth simply would not have occurred without consistent, long-term policies that have helped to ensure a stable business environment for this country’s 5,600 solar companies – many of them small businesses."


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