The US has recorded a 35% increase in solar photovoltaic (PV) installations for the third quarter (Q3) of 2013 compared to the year-ago quarter, according to a report by GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).
As per the report titled, 'U.S. Solar Market Insight: 3rd Quarter 2013', the country installed 930MW of PV in Q3 2013, a 20% increase over the previous quarter, that is claimed to be the second largest quarter in the history of the US solar market.
Of the total PV capacity, more than half has come from the utility sector with 539MW; the residential market reported 186MW installations, representing a 49% increase year-over-year; and the non-residential sector reported fewer installations on both a quarterly and annual basis.
The report revealed that the blended average PV system prices have reached a new low of $3.00/W in Q3 2013, down 4.2% to the previous quarter.
During the quarter, the US residential market has reported around 31,000 individual installations, bringing the cumulative total to 360,000, while the non-residential market has recorded an increase in only nine of the 28 tracked states.
The average system size trends in residential and non-residential markets have witnessed different trends with residential market steadying around an average of 6kW, while the non- residential market has seen average system sizes dip below 100kW.
The US is expected to install around 4.3GW of new PV capacity in 2013, an increase of 27% over 2012, including an estimated 52% growth rate in the residential sector alone.
With the record installations so far, 2013 is likely to be the first time in more than 15 years that the US installs more solar capacity than Germany, the report says.
Finally, the report has attributed the impressive growth to various aspects including net metering decisions in California, Arizona, Louisiana and Idaho, in addition to new solar deployment programs in Minnesota, Georgia, Massachusetts and New York.