/ Explosive Growth of U.S. PV Market

U.S. PV market surpasses 20 GW milestone in the second quarter of 2015, on pace to grow 24% over 2014.


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U.S. PV Installation , 2005 – 2014


GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) released the latest edition of the U.S. Solar Market Insight Report, which revealed that the U.S. installed 1,393 megawatts (MW) of solar photovoltaics (PV) in the second quarter of 2015 to reach 22.7 gigawatts (GW) of total installed capacity.

Residential solar led the way, growing by 70 percent over the second quarter of 2014, with 473 megawatts (MW) of residential PV installations. That’s a 6 percent jump over last quarter. Notably, 10 individual states each installed more than 10 MWdc of residential solar in the second quarter of the year – the first time this milestone has been reached.

The non-residential market’s struggles continued in the second quarter, as the market fell 33% over Q2 of 2014. However, it is worth noting that corporate procurement overall has been relatively strong, thanks to an influx of “offsite C&I” projects such as those that will be feeding data centers, some university campuses, hospitals and other large end users or campuses.

The utility PV market continues to serve as the bedrock driver of U.S. solar installations, accounting for 52% of capacity installed in Q2 2015 across all three market segments. With less than 16 months until the federal ITC is scheduled to drop from 30% to 10% for the utility PV segment, the pipeline of projects currently in development is unprecedented in terms of size, totaling 16.6 GWdc. While developers’ timelines to complete ambitious project pipelines are increasingly tight, the uptick in construction activity has been an encouraging indicator of the segment’s aggressive growth trajectory through 2016. Total capacity under construction has increased by more than 600 MWdc since Q1 2015, and now totals more than 5 GWdc for the first time ever.

Installed capacity is enough to power 4.6 million American homes.

We expect another record year for the U.S. PV market in 2015, with installations reaching 7.7 GWdc, a 24% increase over 2014.

“Today’s report proves just how effective establishing and maintaining forward-looking public policies, like the solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), are to the industry,” Rhone Resch, President and CEO of the SEIA said, “as the installed capacity has reached 20 GW milestone, the U.S. will be generating enough clean solar energy to power 4.6 million homes, helping to offset 25 million metric tons of damaging carbon emissions. The ITC has helped solar to become the fastest-growing renewable energy source in America since its release in 2006. It has created 150,000 solar jobs in the US and led to economic growth and success of environmental preservation.”


Resch, R. “New report shows explosive growth in residential solar installations.” Ofweek. 15 June, 2015

SEIA. “Solar Market Insight Report 2015 Q2”. 9 Sep., 2015