From the GreenTalks newsletter:
“The U.S. solar energy industry reports a record-shattering 2013 in terms of installation of new solar capacity. The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and GTM Research released their third-quarter analysis of the markets, noting that the U.S. installed 930 megawatts of photovoltaics during the quarter—the second largest quarter for the U.S. market ever and the largest ever for residential installations. It represented a 20% increase over the previous quarter, and a 35% increase the same period in 2012.
In a press release, SEIA President and CEO Rhone Resch noted, “We’ve now joined Germany, China and Japan as worldwide leaders when it comes to the installation of new solar capacity.”
Interestingly, though, much of the growth is due to the residential market. Through the third quarter, residential installations were up 45% year-over-year, which SEIA attributes to increasingly attractive economics and fair net metering policies. (There’s also the popularity of companies such as Solar City that allow consumers to install solar panels without buying them; they simply purchase the energy from the company.) In contrast, forecasters predict installations for the non-residential (commercial) market will stay flat over 2012.