Reports show that solar installations are on the rise in America—jumping 85% higher in the first quarter of 2012. In this year’s first three months, there were a total of 506 megawatts of solar power capacity added throughout the country, making early 2012 the second highest quarterly total on record, according to a report from GTM Research for Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).
“This really shows the beginning of what we think is going to be a breakout year for the U.S. solar industry,” said Rhone Resch, president of the Solar Energy Industries Association.
The growth, which was announced shortly after the U.S. Commerce Department imposed new tariffs on imports of solar equipment from China, comes, at least in part, from the finishing of several projects from solar developers that qualified under a national grant program ending in 2011. These projects could keep new installations coming strong through the middle of this year. As for the effect of the new tariffs, some analysts think the they may cause U.S. prices to rise but that at least for now, there are no signs of slowing.
“The U.S. market is robust, and none of the global dynamics that are playing out are going to be a market killer for the U.S.,” said Shayle Kann, vice president of research at GTM Research in Boston.
According to the findings from SEIA, “Solar electric capacity reached 4,943 MW in the U.S.” already, which is “enough to power 775,000 households.”
To learn more about the 2012′s solar developments and to view details of the report from GTM and Solar Energy Industries Association, go to SEIA.org.