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More Solar Installed in the 18 Months Ending Dec. 2013 than in the Previous 30 Years

On March 5, 2014, GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) released U.S. Solar Market Insight Report: 2013 Year in Review. The report is one of the most comprehensive solar reports, tracking and analyzing customer and utility-sited solar systems. The report finds the United States installed 4,751 MW of solar PV in 2013 – up 41% over 2012. There are now 12.1 GW of PV and 918 MW of concentrating solar operating in the United States.

Key Details

  • The residential sector contributed 792 MW (60% annual growth over 2012); the non-residential sector contributed 1,112 MW (4% annual growth over 2012); and the utility sector contributed 2,847 MW (58% annual growth over 2012)
  • The top five states—California, Arizona, North Carolina, Massachusetts, and New Jersey—accounted for 81% of all PV installations
  • Key growth states: North Carolina grew 171% over 2012 to install 335 MW; Massachusetts grew 76% to install 237 MW; and Georgia grew 762% to install 91 MW in 2013
  • The market value of all the PV installations completed in 2013 was $13.7 billion
  • Weighted average of PV system prices across all sectors fell 15% to $2.59/W-dc in 2013; weighted average price of utility scale systems dropped to $1.96/W-dc


Supported by falling installed costs, state RPS requirements, and the federal ITC, the solar industry had a record year in 2013. Forecasts indicate that strong year-over-year growth will continue until the ITC is reduced from 30% to 10% in 2017.

Further Information

Executive summary:

This report is part of the Clean Tech & Sustainability Minute series. To view all featured Minutes, please click here.

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Contributing Authors

Paul Quinlan Clean Tech Manager

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