By Mike G
A new report out from GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) shows that solar power came an incredibly long way toward asserting itself as a key part of the U.S. energy mix last year.
The U.S. now has a total of 12.1 gigawatts of photovoltaic (PV) installations and 918 megawatts of concentrating solar power (CSP), enough to power 2.2 million homes.
Here are some of the other highlights from the Solar Market Insight Year in Review 2013 report:
• PV installations increased 41% over 2012 to reach 4,751 MW; these new installations have a $13.7 billion market value.
• 410 MW of CSP came online in 2013, increasing total capacity in the U.S. more than 80%.
• Solar accounted for 29% of all new electricity generating capacity, making it the second-largest source, exceeded only by natural gas.
• The cost to install solar fell throughout the year, reaching a new low of $2.59/W in the fourth quarter and ending 15 percent below the mark set at the end of 2012.