Quarter two of 2014 proved to be a success time for the solar market. Q2 2014 saw installation of PV systems increase 21% from the same quarter last year. As usually, utility sectors accounted for a majority of the quarter’s growth, with residential implementation of solar energy continuing to increase incrementally. The cost-effectiveness of solar energy is continually improving, which works to explain the increase in PV system installation in industrial and retail sectors. During quarter two, solar energy accounted 53% of all electricity generating capacity installed in the U.S., with natural gas accounting for 30%, wind accounting for 14%, and other resources accounting for 3%. What’s most significant about the electricity capacity installations results for quarter two is that coal accounts for 0%, a victory for the solar energy market, and a victory for renewable energy on the whole.
Although the residential use of solar power has only increased marginally, it’s presence in the solar market has been consistent. California continues to sit at the vanguard of the residential solar power consumer market, making up more than 50% of all residential PV system installations for the fourth quarter in a row. This number owes a lot of credit to the State of California for incentivizing solar energy use. However, PV system installation trends have increased in states without incentivizing programs as well. An important area of focus for the solar market continues to be the small commercial sector, which often lacks the initial resources to move to solar energy, despite the long-term benefit. Another few hurdles in reaching the small commercial sector are a lack of creditworthiness, site-specific requirements, and disproportionately high transaction costs. Because of this, much of the focus in the utility solar market has been on large corporations, who have access to greater resources and offer profitable and wide spread need. Though there’s always room for improvement, the solar market remains on the up and up, and pushes forward with optimism for the future of renewable solar energy.
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