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U.S. Solar PV Tops 3.5 GW

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the nation’s solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity now exceeds 3.5 GW. This figure is the result of a new system at the EIA for estimating the lower bound on total installed PV capacity. The figure includes both utility and customer-scale installations. The latter was not captured in previous estimates.

Of this 3.5 GW of installed solar PV, about 30% of it is considered utility-scale solar. The remaining 70% is found in consumer-sited installations, including commercial/industrial (42%) and residential (28%).

These customer-scale installation data were gathered starting in 2010, when electric utilities were first asked to report the capacity of PV installations for any net-metered customers. These data will give researchers the ability to more accurately track small-scale solar grown in the United States. Though, these data will still not capture off-grid PV systems.

For more details on the calculations behind this estimate, you can go to EIA’s website (here).

Melissa C. Lott About the Author: An engineer and researcher who works at the intersection of energy, environment, technology, and policy. Follow on Twitter @mclott.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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  1. 1. Paul_Lenaerts 12:21 am 02/16/2013

    Well, the blog is right.. Solar PV is a great means in helping you lower your budget in paying your bills. Yes, installing and buying Solar PV is not that just for a penny but from time to time it will greatly minimize your budget in paying your bills as it turns your meter backwards for almost how many folds that the regular consumption you have.

    To learn more about the benefits of solar pv, you can visit the website of mine and its time to get know about it..


    Link to this

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