Solar is on track to have its best year ever here in the US, with nearly double the megawatts installed last year (3,300MW this year versus 1,700MW last year). To hit 20 percent of our electricity from solar by 2030, we need to be installing about 13,500MW annually, so we still have a ways to go, but the trend is all in the right direction. This year will likely also be the year that more solar came on line than coal, first time ever in the history of American civilization. Most of the growth was in commercial installations (289 MW) compared to residential installations (94 MW) and utility installations (123 MW).
This new report by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), which looks at the market growth for solar every quarter, is full of other interesting news. New Jersey took the top prize for installing 174 MW in the first quarter, even more than California, coming in at 148 MW. Georgia was not in the top half of new installations. According to information presented at the annual Georgia Solar Summit last week, Georgia has about 18 MW installed, which is based on how much has applied for and received state tax credits. The SEIA report notes that for the first quarter of 2012, our neighbors Tennessee came in 5th, North Carolina came in 7th, and Florida 14th in total new installations.
Residential installed prices fell 7.3 percent, commercial installed prices fell 11.5 percent, and utility prices fell 24.7 percent over Q1 2011. The overall blended average installed price fell 17.2 percent year-over-year. The future for solar gets brighter every day!