In its biggest year to date, the United States solar market nearly doubled its annual record, topping out at 14 625 MW of solar photovoltaic installed in 2016.
In its biggest year to date, the United States solar market nearly doubled its annual record, topping out at 14 625 MW of solar photovoltaic installed in 2016. This represents a 95 % increase over 2015’s then record-breaking 7493 MW. GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) have revealed this data in advance of their upcoming US Solar market Insight Report. to be released on 9 March.
For the first time, US solar ranked as the number one source of new electric generating capacity additions on an annual basis. Altogether, solar accounted for 39% of new capacity additions across all fuel types in 2016.
This success was driven largely by the utility-scale sector, which was boosted by a pipeline of projects initially hedging against the extension of the federal Investment Tax Credit. Not only did it represent the most MW installed, but the utility-scale segment also featured the highest growth rate of any segment, growing 145 percent from 2015.
"In a banner year for U.S. solar, a record 22 states each added more than 100 MW," said Cory Honeyman, GTM Research's associate director of US solar research. "While U.S. solar grew across all segments, what stands out is the double digit gigawatt boom in utility-scale solar, primarily due to solar's cost competitiveness with natural gas alternatives."
As the result of a remarkable 2016, the USA is now home to more than 1.3 million solar PV installations with a cumulative capacity of over 40 GW.