2014 was a big year for solar power in the U.S., with 6,201 megawatts coming online – 30% above 2013’s total. The U.S. Solar Market Insight 2014 Year in Review report from the Solar Energy Industries Association and GTM Research shows that not only did solar photovoltaic capacity see an increase, but an additional 767 MW of concentrating solar power was also installed in 2014, marking the biggest year ever for the technology.
Also mentioned is that for the first time in history, each of the three major market segments (utility, commercial, and residential) have each installed over 1GW of photovoltaic power generation. Despite federal incentives for building owners, the commercial sector did not perform as well as utility, dropping 6% from 2013’s numbers. The slight decline in installed commercial capacity is due to a variety of factors, according to the report, including tight economics and difficulty financing small commercial installations. However, the report’s authors note that 2015 is expected to see a resurgence in commercial installations along with the entire U.S. photovoltaic market, which is projected to grow another 31% this year.
“Solar PV was a $13.4 billion market in the U.S. in 2014, up from just $3 billion in 2009, and this growth should continue through 2015 thanks to falling solar costs, business model innovation, an attractive political and regulatory environment, and increased availability of low-cost capital,” says Shayle Kann, senior vice president of GTM Research.