Digitimes Research: US solar installations to reach 3.6-4GW in 2012
Jackie Chang, DIGITIMES, Taipei [Monday 10 September 2012]
The first quarter of the year is usually a low season for the solar market, however, in the US, first-quarter 2012 installations showed an on-year growth of 83%, reaching 506MW. In particular, the number of new installations in the first quarter in New Jersey surpassed installations in California, topping all states in the US. Massachusetts' ranking also moved up to reach number four. In addition, the number of solar power plants continued to increase in states such as California and Arizona, according to Digitimes Research.
New Jersey and Massachusetts saw significant growth in installations in the first quarter, but the price of Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SREC) reached new lows, and the oversupply conditions are expected to continue thorough to 2013. New Jersey passed new amendments to renewable energy laws in July 2012 which will come into effect in 2014. The new laws will increase the procurement of SRECs and hopefully solve the oversupply problems in New Jersey.
Installations under California's Solar Initiative subsidies have reached 1.2GW, close to the projected target of 1.75GW. Also, the subsidies provided by the three major state power companies – PG&E, SCE, and CCSE – are near an end, hence both the amount of subsidies and returns have been low. As a result, residential and non-residential solar PV system installations in California slowed down significantly in the first half of 2012.
The number of power-plant type solar installations in the US has been growing continuously. This has stimulated residential and non-residential installations in the US to increase. Digitimes Research predicts total new solar PV system installations in the US will reach 3.6-4GW in 2012.