The second quarter of this year saw U.S. domestic solar panel installations more than double compared to the same period in 2011, the Solar Energy Industries Association revealed in a report.
Over the quarter, installations hit a peak of 742 megawatts, which is a rise of 45 percent from the first quarter, and it’s possible we could see 3.2 gigawatts by the end of 2012. California saw the most of it, with 217 megawatts, while Arizona ran a close second with 173 megawatts.
The nation now boasts a total of 5.7 gigawatts of installed solar power capacity, according to Bloomberg, which is sufficient to power around 1 million households.
The increase was driven in large part by big projects selling power to individual utilities companies. Residential installations didn’t go up by much, and non-residential installations actually went down.
As you may have read already, solar panel costs have crashed, due largely to the heavily suppressed prices of Chinese-manufactured components. For many manufacturers, this meant high losses, and the U.S. took measures to fix this by initiating an anti-dumping tariff against China. Amidst the chaos, First Solar (NASDAQ: FSLR) has been one of the very few companies to remain stable and experience growth.
Currently, the U.S. has 3.4 gigawatts’ worth of projects in development and roughly 10 gigawatts in signed contracts for future development. That would make the U.S. the fourth-largest market for solar panel installations, trailing behind Germany, Italy, and China.