U.S. Adds Over 2 GW of Solar Power in 2016
Growing 43 percent year over year, the U.S. saw 2,051 megawatts (MW) of solar photovoltaic (PV) installed in the second quarter of 2016.
According to GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association’s (SEIA) latest U.S. Solar Market Insight report, this marks the eleventh consecutive quarter in which more than a gigawatt (GW) of PV was installed.
According to the report, utility-scale solar installations accounted for 53 percent of all installed PV in the first half of this year. With an additional 7.8 GW scheduled to come online in 2016, more solar capacity is expected to come online in the second half of this year than has ever come online in a single year. The residential market segment hit a major milestone earlier this year – one million residential rooftop installations. The report notes that California’s solar market has experienced a bit of a slowdown, but other state markets, including Utah and Texas, have helped pick up the slack. Residential PV installations grew 1 percent over the first quarter of the year and 29 percent annually. GTM research notes that by 2021, more than 30 states in the U.S. will add more than 100 MW of annual capacity, with 20 of those states becoming home to more than 1 GW of total operating solar PV.
- The U.S. installed 2,051 MWdc of solar PV in Q2 2016, a 43 percent increase over Q2 2015.
- In the first half of 2016, solar accounted for 26 percent of all new electric generating capacity brought on-line in the U.S.
- Installing 650 MWdc, residential PV grew only slightly over Q1 2016, but had its largest quarter ever while growing 29 percent year over year
- California accounted for 42 percent of rooftop PV installations in Q2 – its lowest share since Q4 2012 – as markets in states such as Utah and Texas begin to account for larger shares of the residential segment
- While only seven states added more than 25 MW of rooftop PV in 1H2015, 11 states added more than 25 MW in 1H2016, continuing a trend of geographic demand diffusion
- Despite adding less than 10 MW in Q2, community solar is expected to add 100 MW in 2016
- More than a gigawatt of utility-scale solar was installed for the third consecutive quarter as that segment continues to build out more than 7.8 GWdc of additional projects expected to come online in 2016
- Solar prices continue to drop across all market segments. Collectively, solar prices are 18 percent lower than they were in 2015 and 63 percent lower than they were 5 years ago
- GTM Research forecasts that 13.9 GWdc of new PV installations will come on-line in 2016, up 85 percent over 2015. Utility PV is expected to drive the majority of demand, accounting for over 70 percent of new capacity
Source: GTM Research / SEIA U.S. Solar Market Insight Report