New solar photovoltaic (PV) installations in the United States (U.S.) reached a record 4.2 gigawatts (GW) during 2013. Since 2012, the U.S. market has grown 15 percent, making it the leading solar market outside the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, according to the latest NPD Solarbuzz North America PV Markets Quarterly.
Solar PV installed in the U.S. during the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2013 also reached a new record high of approximately 1.4 GW, which is equivalent to over 1 megawatt (MW) of solar panels being installed during each hour of daylight over the past three months.
“Each year, the final quarter in the U.S. results in a new quarterly record for solar PV installed,” said Michael Barker, senior analyst at NPD Solarbuzz. “The solar PV industry in the U.S. is, on average, now installing more than one gigawatt of solar PV each quarter.”
Large-scale projects dominated the U.S. market during 2013, accounting for more than 80 percent of new solar capacity deployed. The ground-mount segment, which includes most of the utility solar PV installed, reached almost 3 GW in 2013 with over 1 GW in Q4 2013 alone. The large rooftop market exceeded 500 megawatts (MW), which is similar to levels seen over the past few years.
The small-scale solar segment, comprised of residential and small non-residential rooftops, accounted for approximately 700 MW in 2013, which is an increase of 10 percent compared to 2012. More than three quarters of small-scale demand came from the residential segment.
California was again the leading state in the U.S. for installed solar PV in 2013; however, North Carolina was propelled into second place, due to strong utility-scale activity, overtaking both Arizona and New Jersey in the rankings. New Mexico and New York were new entrants, displacing Maryland and Colorado from the list.
Figure: Top 10 U.S. States for Solar PV Capacity Added in 2013