The U.S. solar industry experienced some incredible growth in 2013 that has investors and owners excited about the future. Recently, the Solar Energy Industries Association® (SEIA®) and GTM Research released the U.S. Solar Market Insight™ report, a quarterly analysis of industry trends in the concentrating solar power (CSP) and photovoltaic (PV) markets that highlights this growth.
The report revealed that there was a 41% increase in PV installations and a 15% decrease in costs, among other impressive statistics. Not only did it become clear in 2013 that the U.S. solar market could reach mainstream status in the near future, but there was a great deal of discussion regarding how the growth of solar could fundamentally alter the role of electric utilities.
Here at RadianGEN, we’re thrilled to see that solar is expanding and becoming more affordable, confirming that the industry will continue to thrive in 2014 and beyond.
However, with growth comes responsibility, and as solar adoption increases, it will be necessary to ensure that existing solar projects are performing well so that they continue to yield impressive results. Focusing on these projects – both internally and with the help of independent solar asset management companies – will be key in demonstrating the true value of solar and contributing to its long-term growth.
In the meantime, let’s take a look at some of the most interesting statistics and information featured in the report in 2013.
- The U.S. installed 4,751 MW of PV
- The annual weighted average PV system price hit a historic low of $2.89/W
- California installed 2,621 MW of PV, representing more than half of the solar installed in the entire country
- 792 MW of residential solar, 1,112 MW of non-residential distributed generation solar and 2,847 MW of utility scale solar were installed, representing annual increases of 60 percent, 4 percent and 58 percent, respectively.
- From 2012 to 2013, residential system prices fell 8.8 percent from $5.03/W to $4.59/W, non-residential distributed generation system prices fell 16.3 percent from $4.26/W to $3.57/W and utility scale system prices fell 13.6 percent from $2.27/W to $1.96/W.
“For 2014, our forecast calls for 26 percent overall growth in the U.S. solar market, with installations reaching nearly 6 GW. We expect growth in all three segments, though at varying magnitudes,” states the report. As the solar industry continues to grow and more projects are built and installed throughout the United States, owners can benefit significantly by taking proper care of these investments.
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