By - Jim Vess

U.S. solar PV market tops two million installations in 2019

Energize Weekly, May 22, 2019

Photovoltaic (PV) solar installation in the U.S. hit two million in 2019, according to data from the market analysis consultant Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).

It took nearly 40 years to reach the one-million-installation mark in 2016 and just three years to double it.

Wood Mackenzie forecasts the U.S. surpassing three million installations in 2021 and four million installations in 2024.

“According to our latest forecasts, by 2024 there will be, on average, one solar installation per minute,” Michelle Davis, senior solar analyst at Wood Mackenzie, said in a statement. “That’s up from one installation every 10 minutes in 2010.”

California, which has consistently been the largest U.S. market for PV solar, accounted for 51 percent of the first million installations and 43 percent of the second million.

This increase in the installation rate was “in large part” due to a residential sector that was both growing and “rapidly diversifying across state markets,” SEIA, the industry’s main trade group, said.

After California with its 972,647 installations came Arizona with 138,142 installations, New York with 115,019, Rhode Island with 105,453 and Massachusetts with 92,000.

Other states that helped drive growth, the SEIA said, were Texas, Florida, Utah and Maryland. While the numbers are more modest, other states are also seeing a sharp uptick, the market report said.

“South Carolina, for instance, was an emerging market in 2016 with 1,160 cumulative installations,” the analysis said. “Today, the state is home to more than 18,000 solar systems and is expected to add 22,000 systems over the next five years.”

“The rapid growth in the solar industry has completely reshaped the energy conversation in this country,” Abigail Ross Hopper, SEIA CEO, said in a statement. “This $17 billion industry is on track to double again in five years, and we believe that the 2020s will be the decade that solar becomes the dominant new form of energy generation.”

The U.S. Energy Information Administration says it expects renewable sources, excluding hydropower, will provide around 11 percent of total electricity generation this year, rising to 13 percent in 2020.

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