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U.S. Installs More Solar than Coal, Gas & Nuclear combined in Q1 2016

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The U.S. solar industry is on track to have another record-breaking year, according to a quarterly report by GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).

In the “U.S. Solar Market Insight, Q2 2016,” 1,665-MW of solar photovoltaics (PV) were installed in the first quarter of 2016, with the solar industry adding more new capacity in the quarter than coal, natural gas and nuclear combined. The installed solar PV accounted for 64 percent of all new electric generating capacity brought online in the first quarter of the year.

This is the 10th consecutive quarter in which more than a gigawatt of PV was installed in the U.S., and the 12th consecutive quarter in which 500 MW or more of utility-scale PV was installed, the report states. Utility-scale PV is expected to drive the majority of demand, accounting for nearly three-fourths of new capacity. More than 10 GW of utility PV is set to come online this year, and at least another 4.5 GW of utility PV are expected to be nearly or fully finished in fourth quarter 2016 and official commercial operation scheduled in 2017.

“While it took us 40 years to hit 1 million U.S. solar installations, we’re expected to hit 2 million within the next two years,” said Tom Kimbis, SEIA’s interim president. “The solar industry is growing at warp speed, driven by the fact that solar is one of the lowest cost options for electricity and it’s being embraced by people who both care about the environment and want access to affordable and reliable electricity.”

To buy the full report, click here.