Second-quarter U.S. installations of photovoltaic solar panels rose 17 percent from the previous quarter as increases in non-residential and utility-scale projects offset a weakened residential solar market.
Installations were also up 69 percent from the same period the previous year at 314 megawatts, according to a report released today by industry trade group the Solar Energy Industries Association and research firm GTM Research.
Installations are poised to double this year, though SEIA said it revised its outlook for the residential and utility segments while raising its non-residential market forecast.
"We have to step back and remember that we are in some dire economic times, and to see 17 percent quarter-over-quarter growth and 69 percent year-over-year growth is really quite astounding," said Tom Kimbis, vice president for strategy and external affairs at SEIA. Solar module prices
fell 12 percent in the United States during the quarter--bringing the decline for the year to about 30 percent, the report said, adding that without that decline, U.S. installations may have been flat this year.
"We're benefiting from competition. It's driving some companies out of business, but on the other hand it's a real boon for homeowners and small businesses who want to install solar," Kimbis said. … Read more