The US solar power market grew by 76 percent in 2012, making it another record-breaking year for the industry, a new report by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) stated.
Solar is the fastest-growing energy source in the United States, according to the SEIA, with residents, business and utilities all taking advantage of it. During 2012, the United States installed 3,313 megawatts of solar photovoltaics.
California was the state to install the most solar throughout the year, with 1,033 MW. It also became the first state to install more than 1,000 MW in one year, the SEIA reported. Arizona took the No. 2 spot with 710 MW and New Jersey came in third with 415 MW. The remainder of the top 10 states were Nevada, North Carolina, Massachusetts, Hawaii, Maryland, Texas and New York.
The solar market value also increased during 2012, reaching $11.5 billion. In 2009, market value was at $3.6 billion. SEIA President and CEO Rhone Resch said there were 16 million solar panels installed in the United States in 2012 - more than two panels every second of the work day.
"We've brought more new solar online in 2012 than in the three prior years combined," he said. "This sustained growth is enabling the solar industry to create thousands of good jobs and to provide clean, affordable energy for more families, businesses, utilities and the military than ever before. This growth simply would not have occurred without consistent, long-term policies that have helped to ensure a stable business environment for this country's 5,600 solar companies – many of them small businesses."