WASHINGTON, June 10, 2015 –The United States residential solar market grew 76 percent in the first quarter 2015, compared to the same period in 2014, with 437 megawatts (MW) of photovoltaics (PV) installed, according to GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association’s (SEIA) Q1 U.S. Solar Market Insight Report
The first quarter tends to be the slowest time of the year for the solar market due to weather and accounting and tax considerations. However, the residential market still grew 11 percent over last quarter, its previous high-water mark. Photovoltaic installations are forecast to reach 7.9 GW in 2015, up 27 percent over 2014. Growth will occur in all segments, but will be most rapid in the residential market, the report noted.
“Q1 2015 provided a clear glimpse into the future role that the residential sector will play as a primary driver of not only solar market growth, but the overall electricity generation mix,” said Shayle Kann, senior vice president at GTM Research. “In the first quarter of this year, the U.S. installed more residential solar than natural gas, and solar on the whole accounted for 51 percent of all new electric generating brought online. We expect more than 3 million residential solar installations over the next five years, marked by a broader trend toward customer engagement in energy usage, generation and management.”
Although total installations in the first quarter were close to the first quarter of 2014, the U.S. installed 1,306 MW of solar PV in Q1 2015, marking the sixth consecutive quarter in which the U.S. added more than 1 GW of PV installations.
Other Key Findings from the Q1 2015 U.S. Solar Market Insight Report
- Collectively, more than 51 percent of all new electric generating capacity in the U.S. came from solar in Q1 2015.
- 66,440 individual solar systems came online in Q1 2015, bringing the total to nearly 700,000 nationwide.
- The average cost for a residential solar system is now $3.48/watt, 10 percent lower than this time last year.
- More than one-third of all community solar installations have come on-line since 2014.
- More than 5 GW of centralized PV has now been procured by utilities based on solar’s economic competitiveness with fossil-fuel alternatives.
Through Q1 2015, nearly one-fourth of cumulative residential solar installations have now come on-line without any state incentive.
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