The US solar energy market grew by 76% in 2012 to a total of 3,313 megawatts (MW) with an estimated market value of $11.5 billion, according GreenTech Media and the Solar Energy Industries Association in a report released today. At the same time, the prices for PV systems fell 27% during 2012. There are now more than 300,000 solar PV installations n the United States.
“2012 was a busy year in the U.S. solar market,” said Shayle Kann, vice president at GTM Research. “The market value of U.S. solar installations reached $11.5 billion in 2012, up from just $3.6 billion in 2009. Amidst this boom, the industry faced newly-imposed import tariffs on Chinese solar cells and ongoing consolidation in the manufacturing space. In 2013, we expect another strong year, driven in part by new mechanisms to increase the availability, and lower the cost, of solar project financing.” SEIA Press Release
At the same time as installations continue to grow, prices for solar PV systems continue to drop, making it more and more affordable to businesses and homeowners in every state. As noted in a previous blog post, the "tipping point" at which electricity from solar energy is cheaper over the long run (including financing costs) than purchasing retail energy is coming closer and closer.
Source: US Solar Market Insight: Year in Review 2012, GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association, March 14, 2013.