In the first quarter of 2016, the photovoltaic energy industry reached a significant milestone in the United States—the market became 1 million solar installations strong.
And according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), Q1 2016 was the 10th consecutive quarter in which solar installations exceeded one gigawatt.
In what other ways has the photovoltaic energy industry grown since the beginning of the year? Let’s take a look at the latest information from SEIA’s U.S. Solar Market Insight report.
Growth in the Residential Photovoltaic Energy Market
Many major photovoltaic energy markets are considering net metering reforms, and some have already been implemented. This will cost solar owners money, and thus has led to declining or flat growth in some areas of the country, most notably in Hawaii.
Despite this, the residential solar industry has experienced an average growth rate of 11 percent over the last four quarters. Though photovoltaic installations are up just 1 percent over Q4 2015, they increased by 34 percent since the first quarter of 2015.
Smaller state markets are balancing out the slowing demand in the major photovoltaic market states. Maryland and New York, for example, saw rooftop solar increase by 25 percent in Q1 2016. Utah and Texas also experienced significant gains in solar growth during this quarter.
California accounted for nearly half of all residential photovoltaic system installations in Q1 2016, and is likely to keep its rank as the top state market through the rest of the year.
Commercial Photovoltaic Energy Market Growth
Development issues in non-residential spaces and declining financial incentives for adopting solar in some major state markets have slowed commercial sector photovoltaic growth slightly this year. Since the last quarter of 2015, installations are down slightly.
However, when compared to Q1 2015, non-residential solar installations have increased by a whopping 36 percent. And almost half of U.S. states experienced year-over-year photovoltaic power growth.
Photovoltaic Energy Growth in the Utility Market
The utility market continues to comprise a large portion of the country’s solar growth. In Q1 2016, utility scale projects accounted for 43 percent of all new installations. And this was the 12th quarter in a row in which more than 500 megawatts were added.
This year, however, the amount of utility scale growth is expected to be unprecedented. A whopping 8.4 GW of solar power projects are already under construction, with more than 10 GW projected to come online by the end of the year.
The U.S. solar industry growth is expected to continue its exponential climb in the coming years. Are you interested in adding to that growth and planning your own solar energy system installation? In the Intermountain West region, Intermountain Wind & Solar is the premier solar energy solutions provider for commercial and residential installations.
Contact us today to learn more about how you can benefit from the growing trend in photovoltaic energy adoption.