US installed record solar PV in 2013

The United States installed a record 4.2GW of solar PV last year, up 15% from 2012, making it the largest solar market outside the Asia-Pacific region, according to NPD Solarbuzz.

Fourth quarter US solar PV installations were also a record 1.4GW, equivalent to more than 1MW of panels installed each hour of daylight during the three-month period, the consultancy says in its North America PV Markets Quarterly report.

Large-scale projects dominated the US market in 2013, accounting for more than 80% of new solar capacity deployed. The ground-mount segment, which includes most of the utility solar PV installed, reached almost 3GW, with more than 1 W in Q4. The large rooftop market exceeded 500MW, similar to levels seen over the past few years, according to Solarbuzz.

The small-scale solar segment, comprised of residential and small non-residential rooftops, accounted for approximately 700MW in 2013, a 10% increase versus 2012. More than three quarters of small-scale demand came from the residential segment.

 “Each year, the final quarter in the United States results in a new quarterly record for solar PV installed,” says Michael Barker, senior analyst at NPD Solarbuzz.

California was again the leading state for installed solar PV in 2013. North Carolina was in second place, due to strong utility-scale activity, overtaking both Arizona and New Jersey in the rankings.