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Solar Market in U.S. Grows 76% in 2012

A new analysis of the solar market in the United States found that solar power is the fastest growing energy source in the country, with photovoltaic installations growing 76% in 2012 to hit 3,313 MW of new installed capacity last year.

The analysis, titled “U.S. Solar Market Insight: Year-in-Review 2012“, from Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and GTM Research, showed that not only is the consumer cost for solar power dropping, but the industry itself is growing by leaps and bounds. From 2011 to 2012, revenues jumped about 34%, from $8.6 billion (USD) to $11.5 billion, which keeps solar as the prevailing growth industry in energy.

2012 was a record year for solar power installations in the U.S., which now has a total of 7,221 MW of photovoltaic panels and 546 MW of concentrating solar power (equivalent to power 1.2 million homes) feeding the grid with clean renewable energy.

Over 90,000 solar power systems were installed last year, 83,000 of which were for residential projects, putting the total number of solar installations in the U.S. over 300,000 in number. The majority (54%) of solar capacity, however, was installed by utilities, with a total of 1,782 MW of new solar plants on the grid.

In addition to producing clean energy, these installations also provided opportunities for jobs, bolstering the local economies:

“There were 16 million solar panels installed in the U.S. last year – more than 2 panels per second of the work day – and every one of these panels was bolted down by a member of the U.S. workforce.” – Rhone Resch, CEO of SEIA

Here’s the breakdown by state:

2012 PV installations by state

And a Google Hangout covering the analysis:

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