US adds record 449 MW of fresh solar capacity in Q3 2011
Dec 14, 2011 - A record 449 MW of solar capacity has been installed in the US in the third quarter of 2011, up 140% on the year, according to a report by GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).
The approaching expiry of the Treasury's 1603 programme poses a risk to the sector's growth, the report warns.
Compared to the second quarter of 2011, grid-connected photovoltaic (PV) installations in the July-September period rose by 39%, according to the report. Solar capacity additions are forecast to be even higher in the fourth quarter.
During the first three quarters of the year, the US solar industry added over 1 GW of capacity, compared to 887 MW in the whole of 2010. The record level of installations is attributed to the completion of utility-scale projects, a robust residential market, successful policies and the falling solar panel prices.
GTM Research and SEIA said that much of the growth was a result of the 1603 programme, which is due to expire at the end of the year and warned that a failure by Congress to extend it could cause a slowdown in installations in late 2012 and into 2013.