With only weeks left in 2012, it appears that the U.S. solar installs will surpass 2011 levels in dramatic fashion. A new report from GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association® (SEIA®) released today shows 684 megawatts added in the third quarter (Q3) of 2012, representing 44-percent growth over the same period last year. Already, 1,992 megawatts have been added to the grid – surpassing 2011′s total of 1,885 megawatts. And we’ve still got reporting on the fourth quarter of 2012 to go!
According to the report, there are more than 6.4 gigawatts of solar electric capacity installed in the U.S., enough to power more than one million average American households.
“While Q3 2012 was remarkable for the U.S. PV market, it is just the opening act for what we expect to see in Q4,” said Shayle Kann, vice president of research at GTM. “We forecast more than 1.2 gigawatts of PV to be installed next quarter on the back of developers who are pushing to meet year-end deadlines in both the utility and commercial segments. We also expect to see the residential PV market post another record number in Q4, as third-party residential installers gain more traction in mature, cost-effective markets.”
Ok – so what’s all this mean? Greener energy, more acceptance, and cheaper prices. Average residential system prices dropped $5.45 per watt to $5.21 per watt nationally. In the utility sector, the savings were even greater – dropping to $2.40 per watt – a 30% decrease from last year.
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