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US solar power market grew 76% in 2012, increasingly competitive

Credit: rresolar.com

Credit: rresolar.com

Over 3 gigawatts of solar photovoltaic were installed last year in the US, a new record. Prices are dropping sharply too. By the end of 2012 there were 7.2 gigawatts of PV and 546 MW of concentrating solar power online in the US. This is certainly a major and welcome jump but a little perspective is needed. There are individual coal and nuclear plants that produce 3 GW each. However, the trend-line is clear. Solar and wind power prices are dropping sharply, making them competitive with fossil fuels and nuclear. This trend will continue.

MW of PV installed during 2012

1. California – 1,033
2. Arizona – 710
3. New Jersey – 415
4. Nevada – 198
5. North Carolina – 132
6. Massachusetts – 129
7. Hawaii – 109
8. Maryland – 74
9. Texas – 64
10. New York – 60

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