US residential installations outstrip commercial for first time ever, finds SEIA


A report from the Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA) and GTM Research has revealed that for the first time ever, residential PV installations outstripped commercial PV installations in the first quarter of 2014.

The Q1 2014 U.S. Solar Market Insight Report also found that 1.33 GW of PV capacity was added across the U.S. in the first three months of the year. For the residential sector, a combined figure of 232 MW was just enough to push the market above commercial, which could only add 225 MW of PV capacity.

However, both GTM Research and SEIA expect this dip to be temporary, with commercial forecast to outperform residential for the remaining three quarters of the year. A strong solar leasing market and lower systems costs have helped drive the residential sector, which is still on course for further growth throughout the year, the researchers believe.

On the utility scale, PV capacity grew 171% year-on-year, with 873 MW installed in Q1 2014 – two-thirds of the overall total. "Solar accounted for 74% of all new U.S. electric capacity installed in Q1 2014, further signaling the rapidly increasing roles that solar is playing in the energy market," said GTM Research senior VP, Shayle Kann. "Expect to see a resurgence in the non-residential market, combined with continued incremental residential growth throughout the rest of the year."

Over the course of the year, the U.S. in on course to install 6.6 GW of PV capacity, say the researchers, which is up 39% on last year.

SEIA president and CEO Rhone Resch was bullish at the findings, recalling that the industry now pumps some $15 billion a year in the U.S. economy. "Solar energy is also providing a big boost for our environment," he added. "The 14,800 MW of solar currently installed in the U.S. can generate enough pollution-free electricity to displace 18 billion pounds of coal or 1.8 billion gallons of gasoline. Solar can be a real game changer."

Popular content

This content is protected by copyright and may not be reused. If you want to cooperate with us and would like to reuse some of our content, please contact:


Related content

Elsewhere on pv magazine...

Leave a Reply

Please be mindful of our community standards.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

By submitting this form you agree to pv magazine using your data for the purposes of publishing your comment.

Your personal data will only be disclosed or otherwise transmitted to third parties for the purposes of spam filtering or if this is necessary for technical maintenance of the website. Any other transfer to third parties will not take place unless this is justified on the basis of applicable data protection regulations or if pv magazine is legally obliged to do so.

You may revoke this consent at any time with effect for the future, in which case your personal data will be deleted immediately. Otherwise, your data will be deleted if pv magazine has processed your request or the purpose of data storage is fulfilled.

Further information on data privacy can be found in our Data Protection Policy.