The U.S. solar market hit a major milestone in the second quarter of this year, with more than half a million homes and businesses now generating solar energy, according to a new report by GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).
According to the Q2 2014 U.S. Solar Market Insight Report, the United States installed 1,133 megawatts of solar photovoltaics (PV) in the second quarter of this year. The residential and commercial segments accounted for nearly half of all solar PV installations in the quarter.
The residential market has seen the most consistent growth of any segment for years and is expected to continue on its upward path. Across the U.S., cumulative PV and concentrating solar power (CSP) operating capacity has surpassed 15.9 gigawatts, enough to power more than 3.2 million homes.
This expansion of solar power also has been a boon to the economy, the report’s authors say. Today, the solar industry employs 143,000 Americans and pumps nearly $15 billion a year into the economy. Much of this can be credited to effective public policies, such as the solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), net energy metering and renewable portfolio standards (RPS).Click to continue reading »