Solar made up 32% of all new U.S. generating capacity in 2014

Dive Brief:

  • New photovoltaic (PV) solar installations in the U.S. reached a single-year record 6,201 MW in 2014, 30% higher than 2013. The U.S. also built 767 MW of concentrating solar power (CSP) last year, according to the GTM Research-Solar Energy Industries Association U.S. Solar Market Insight 2014 Year in Review.
  • Solar made up 32% of U.S new generating capacity in 2014, more than any other generation source except natural gas. All three solar market sectors — utility, commercial-industrial, and residential — had over 1 GW of new capacity. 
  • In 2014, 3.9 GW of utility-scale PV projects went online. C&I was at just over 1 GW of new capacity, down 6% from 2014. Residential PV grew to 1.2 GW of new capacity in 2014, the first time it passed the 1,000 MW mark. It is solar’s fastest-growing market sector and had 50% year-on-year growth for the third straight year.

Dive Insight:

Growth was led by the utility scale market sector where 1.5 GW were built in Q4 2014, solar’s biggest single quarter ever. Solar is expected to boom through the end of 2016, when the 30% federal investment tax credit is scheduled to sunset. PV installations are forecast to grow 59% over last year in 2015 to 8.1 GW.

Cumulative U.S. PV capacity in 2014 was 18.3 GW and cumulative U.S. CSP capacity was 1.7 GW. More than a third of all U.S. PV operating capacity went online last year. It represented $17.8 billion in investment, with $13.4 billion in PV and $4.4 billion in CSP.

Over 500 MW of residential solar was built without state incentives last year. California led all states with a cumulative 8.7 GW installed but 20 states had over 100 MW of cumulative installed capacity by the end of 2014.

Filed Under: Generation Solar & Renewables Distributed Energy