Yesterday our friends at SEIA and GTM Research released their latest report on American solar market trends. U.S. Solar Market Insight: Q1 2012 found that solar growth continued its breakneck pace, with installations for the quarter 85% higher than last year this time – making it highest first quarter in history. Cumulatively, the U.S. has installed nearly 5,000 megawatts of solar electric capacity. Just five years ago, we were celebrating 150 megawatts installed nationwide. Let’s take a moment to appreciate just how far we’ve come in such a short time.
That impressive growth is coming from all corners of the country. The Q1 report found that New Jersey added the most new solar capacity, unseating long-time leader California for the first time. Long time solar powerhouse Arizona continues to shine, but it’s joined by exciting newcomers like Tennessee and North Carolina.
Meanwhile, our priority campaign of the moment – New York – is being left behind. Once one of the strongest states in the nation for solar, it’s fallen from 7th to 10th in new solar installations, well behind the Garden State as well as other neighbors like Pennsylvania and Massachusetts.
© Copyright 2012 SEIA/GTM Research
New York could very well reverse that trend by passing long-term solar policy. A bill has passed the Assembly Energy Committee and Senator George Maziarz, Chair of the Energy Committee, has expressed support for expanding the use of solar energy. Governor Cuomo recently launched the NY-Sun plan to double the amount of energy produced by solar panels by 2013 and quadruple it by 2014, a program which—if extended to run through 2022—would drive a total of 2,200 MW of local solar power and provide just the kind of blueprint for solar growth that New York needs to get back on top.
Our own jobs and economic impact report released this week shows just how much New York has to gain from this scale of solar development: $2 billion in economic activity and an average of 1,700 new jobs per year all throughout the state. All it will take is action from Albany before the legislative session ends this month. If you live in New York, please help us speak up in support!