Big news!(Reuters) US solar installations are up 85 percent in the first quarter of 2012 from the previous year, according to an industry report that prompted a research firm and a lobbying group to raise their capacity forecasts for the year.
A total of 506 megawatts of solar power capacity was added during the first three months of the year, the second highest quarterly total to date, according to the report by GTM Research for the Solar Energy Industries Association.The news comes just weeks after the US imposed new tariffs on imports of solar equipment from China, the world's top manufacturer.
"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.
GTM said that following the first-quarter data, it had raised its forecast for U.S. installations to 3,300 MW this year, up from the 2,500-2,800 MW, it had predicted in March.The growth seems due to the lowering of installation pricing and manufacturing. Always a good time to spread a bit of good news!
That figure is well above the 1,855 MW of solar panels that were installed in the United States in 2011.
That would likely make the country the fourth-largest market in the world this year, with about 11 percent of the world's total.