Record quarter for US residential solar


Market research company GTM Research says the resurgence seen in the U.S. solar market could mean 2013 is the first year in more than a decade in which the country installed more solar than traditional global pacesetters Germany.

The latest U.S. Solar Market Insight quarterly report – compiled by GTM with the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) – found the U.S. enjoyed the second best three-month spell since records began, with 930 MW of new solar installed.

And although installations are dominated by utility scale plants – accounting for more than half of new solar – residential solar, with 186 MW in Q3, posted its best quarter.

Solar system costs post new low

There was also good news on the cost front with the report’s blended average figure reaching a new low of $3/W after a 4.2% fall in system costs from the previous quarter.

The only negative in the latest quarterly report was a flat figure for non-residential, non-utility installations but the report’s authors are predicting a strong upturn in even that segment in the new year.

With the U.S. solar market making waves internationally, GTM Research is predicting the nation will have installed 4.3 GW of PV in 2013, a rise of 27% on 2012 installations.