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Solar energy is poised for yet another record year

SolarCity Corp. employees install solar panels on the roof of a home in Kendall Park, New Jersey, U.S., on Tuesday, July 28, 2015. (Michael Nagle/Bloomberg)

SolarCity Corp. employees install solar panels on the roof of a home in Kendall Park, New Jersey, U.S., on Tuesday, July 28, 2015. (Michael Nagle/Bloomberg)

The U.S. solar industry is on course for a new growth record in 2015, according to a new report that finds that solar photovoltaic installations now exceed 20 gigawatts in capacity and could surpass an unprecedented 7 gigawatts this year alone across all segments. A gigawatt is equivalent to 1 billion watts and can power some 164,000 homes, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).

The new report, from GTM Research and SEIA, covers the second quarter of 2015, which set a new record for residential rooftop solar installations in particular, a category that saw 70 percent year-over-year growth. 473 megawatts of residential solar capacity were installed, or nearly half a gigawatt.

“It’s setting records every quarter,” says Shayle Kann, senior vice president of GTM Research and lead author of the report, of the residential segment.

The report comes just weeks after President Obama traveled to Las Vegas — a particularly fast-paced solar market — to sing the industry’s praises and cast solar, and particularly “distributed” solar on rooftops, as an icon of progress and technological innovation.

Continue reading here.

ACT has done work encouraging renewable energy and engaging decision makers in supporting renewable energy. Though climate change is already here and will continue for some time, transitioning off fossil fuels will make adaptation easier to plan for and implement. Check out our reports on this important area of work here. 

 

 

 

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