More solar energy capacity in the United States was installed in the first nine months of 2012 than all of 2011, according to a report by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and GTM Research.
At the end of the third quarter of the year, a total of 1,992 megawatts had been installed in the nation, representing a 44 percent growth between July and September. According to the report, a total of 1,885 MW had been installed throughout 2011. Much of the growth in solar this year comes from small residential photovoltaic installations and on-site commercial systems - accounting for about 684 MW.
The states with the most solar energy installations are California, Arizona, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Nevada, according to the report.
"This quarter's record residential growth shows the power of innovation in the U.S. solar industry," said president and CEO of SEIA Rhone Resch. "With costs continuing to come down and new financing options, solar energy is affordable today for more families, businesses, utilities and the military. Thanks to smart long-term policy, the solar industry is growing to meet the challenge of putting Americans back to work and helping to grow both our nation's economy and our clean energy portfolio."