As one of the world’s largest three PV markets, U.S.’s solar installation capacity exceeded 2GW in the second quarter of 2016, according to a report published jointly by GTM Research and SEIA. 2Q16 was the eleventh consecutive quarter in which more than 1GW of PV was installed in the U.S.
The report stated that 2,051MW of solar PV capacity was installed in 2Q16 in the U.S., representing a 43% YoY growth. Over 1GW of utility-scale projects were installed, while more than 7.8GWdc of additional projects expected to come online in 2016.
In the first half of 2016, solar accounted for 26% of all new electric generating capacity brought on-line in the U.S., say GTM Research.
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% over the first quarter of the year and 29% annually.
In 2Q, California accounted for only 42% of rooftop PV installations, the lowest share since 4Q12. In the first half of 2016, 11 states installed more than 25MW of rooftop PV, compared to seven states in 1H15. This represented a trend of geographic demand diffusion.
The total installation reached 31.6GW by the end of the second quarter. GTM Research expects that U.S. will install up to 13.9GW of PV installations in 2016, representing an 85% growth compared to 2015. The installation boom is majorly driven by stronger demand to utility-scale projects, which are forecasted to account for over 70% of new capacity.
GTM Research’s report also unveiled price drop across all market segments. Collectively, solar prices are 18% lower than they were in 2015 and 63% lower than they were 5 years ago, stated the report.
(Graphic: GTM Research)