Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Every 3 Minutes Solar Industry Flips Switch on New Project

Business

Few things threaten America’s future prosperity more than climate change.

But there is growing hope. Every 3 minutes of every single day, the U.S. solar industry is flipping the switch on another completed solar project.

Maintaining its vibrant growth, the U.S. installed 1,354 megawatts (MW) of solar photovoltaics (PV) in Q3 2014, up 41 percent over the same period last year. The numbers come from the latest edition of GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association's (SEIA) U.S. Solar Market Insight Report, which was released yesterday.

Every 3 minutes of every single day, the U.S. solar industry is flipping the switch on another completed solar project.
Photo credit: Shutterstock

According to the report, Q3 was the nation's second largest quarter ever for PV installations and brings the country's cumulative solar PV capacity to 16.1 gigawatts (GW), with another 1.4 GW of concentrating solar power (CSP) capacity.

Solar is proving to be an important and growing source of new generating capacity for the U.S. Through the first three quarters of the year, solar represents 36 percent of new capacity to come on-line, up from 29 percent in 2013 and 9.6 percent in 2012.

Without question, solar’s continued, impressive growth is due, in large part, to smart and effective public policies, such as the solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), Net Energy Metering (NEM) and Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS). By any measurement, these policies are paying huge dividends for America. Every three minutes of every single day, the U.S. solar industry is flipping the switch on another completed solar project, benefitting both our economy and the environment.

The report tracks installations across three market segments: utility-scale, residential and non-residential which includes commercial, government and non-profit installations.

Historically, the U.S. utility-scale market segment has accounted for the majority of PV installations, and this past quarter continued the trend. The U.S. installed 825 MW of utility-scale projects, up from 540 MW in Q3 2013. This marks the sixth straight quarter in which utility-scale PV has accounted for more than 50 percent of the national total.

The U.S. residential market exceeded 300 MW in a quarter for the first time in history. Impressively, more than half of this total came online without any state incentive. Residential continues to be the most reliable market segment, now growing 18 out of the past 19 quarters. GTM Research forecasts it to exceed the non-residential segment in annual installations for the first time in more than a decade.

The non-residential market continues its struggles of late, due in part to incentive depletion in California and Arizona. Installations in the segment were down 3 percent over Q3 2013. However, GTM Research and SEIA do expect year-over-year growth for the non-residential market.

The report forecasts the U.S. to install 6.5 GW of PV in 2014, a 36 percent increase over the historic 2013. Here are some of the other key findings:

  • For the first time ever, more than 300 MW of residential PV came on-line in a single quarter and more than 50 percent of residential PV came online without any state incentive.
  • 36 percent of all new electric generating capacity in the U.S. through the first three quarters of 2014 came from solar.
  • Growth remains driven primarily by the utility solar PV market, which installed 825 MW in Q3 2014, up from 540 MW in Q3 2013.
  • The report forecasts that PV installations will reach 6.5 GW in 2014, up 36 percent over 2013 and more than three times the market size of just three years ago.

So anyway you look at it, the sun continues to shine brightly on America—and our future.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Renewable Energy Becomes Scotland’s Main Source of Electricity

3 Reasons Universities Are Investing Renewable Energy

Congress Delivers Critical Blow to Wind Power

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Koala populations across parts of Australia are on track to become extinct before 2050 unless "urgent government intervention" occurs. Mathias Appel / Flickr

Koala populations across parts of Australia are on track to become extinct before 2050 unless "urgent government intervention" occurs, warns a year-long inquiry into Australia's "most loved animal." The report published by the Parliament of New South Wales (NSW) paints a "stark and depressing snapshot" of koalas in Australia's southeastern state.

Read More Show Less
NASA is advancing tools like this supercomputer model that created this simulation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to better understand what will happen to Earth's climate if the land and ocean can no longer absorb nearly half of all climate-warming CO2 emissions. NASA/GSFC

By Jeff Berardelli

For the past year, some of the most up-to-date computer models from the world's top climate modeling groups have been "running hot" – projecting that global warming may be even more extreme than earlier thought. Data from some of the model runs has been confounding scientists because it challenges decades of consistent projections.

Read More Show Less
A child stands in what is left of his house in Utuado, Puerto Rico, which was almost completely destroyed by Hurricane Maria, on Oct. 12, 2017. U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Jon-Paul Rios. Flickr, CC by 2.0
By Mark Hertsgaard and Kyle Pope

To hear many journalists tell it, the spring of 2020 has brought a series of extraordinary revelations. Look at what the nation has learned: That our health-care system was not remotely up to the challenge of a deadly pandemic. That our economic safety net was largely nonexistent. That our vulnerability to disease and death was directly tied to our race and where we live. That our political leadership sowed misinformation that left people dead. That systemic racism and the killing of Black people by police is undiminished, despite decades of protest and so many Black lives lost.
Read More Show Less
President Trump's claim last September that Hurricane Dorian was headed for Alabama's gulf coast was quickly refuted by employees at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). An independent investigation found that NOAA's chief violated the agency's ethics when he backed Trump's warning and doctored map that used a Sharpie to alter the storm's path, as EcoWatch reported.
Read More Show Less
African bush elephants in the Makgadikgadi Pans Game Reserve in Botswana on Nov. 22, 2016. Michael Jansen / Flickr

More than 350 elephants have died in Botswana since May, and no one knows why.

Read More Show Less
People relax in Victoria Gardens with the Houses of Parliament in the background in central London, as a heatwave hit the continent with temperatures touching 40 degrees Celsius on June 25, 2020. NIKLAS HALLE'N / AFP via Getty Images

The chance that UK summer days could hit the 40 degree Celsius mark on the thermometer is on the rise, a new study from the country's Met Office Hadley Centre has found.

Read More Show Less

Trending

A crowd of people congregate along Ocean Drive in Miami Beach, Florida on June 26, 2020, amid a surge in coronavirus cases. CHANDAN KHANNA / AFP / Getty Images

By Melissa Hawkins

After sustained declines in the number of COVID-19 cases over recent months, restrictions are starting to ease across the United States. Numbers of new cases are falling or stable at low numbers in some states, but they are surging in many others. Overall, the U.S. is experiencing a sharp increase in the number of new cases a day, and by late June, had surpassed the peak rate of spread in early April.

Read More Show Less