Small-scale solar capacity, electricity generation to increase

by Talk Business & Politics staff (staff2@talkbusiness.net) 38 views 

U.S. small-scale solar photovoltaic capacity is expected to rise 53% to 21.9 gigawatts at the end of 2018, from 14.3 gigawatts in April 2017, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The forecasted capacity includes 13.7 gigawatts from the residential sector and 8.2 gigawatts in the commercial and industrial sectors.

The amount of electricity generated from small-scale solar photovoltaic capacity is projected to increase 69% to 32,900 gigawatt hours in 2018, from 19,467 gigawatt hours in 2016, according to the EIA. Small-scale solar systems are those that produce less than 1 megawatt of electricity, and are usually installed on rooftops of businesses or homes.

In 2016, more than half of all the solar systems in the United States were installed in the residential sector. The commercial sector accounted for 36%, and the industrial sector, 8%.

Between 2015 and 2016, capacity of the systems in the residential sector rose 43% to 7.4 gigawatts. Over the same period, capacity in the commercial and industrial sectors has risen 26%, to 5.8 gigawatts. In 2016, California had 41% of all the small-scale solar photovoltaic capacity in the United States. New Jersey, Massachusetts and Arizona have 24% of the capacity.

In 2017, the amount of electricity generated by small-scale solar systems in the residential sector is expected to increase 40% to 14,530 gigawatt hours, from 2016, according to the EIA. Over the same period, electricity generation in the commercial and industrial sectors is expected to rise 22% to 10,850 gigawatt hours.

The amount of electricity generated by large-scale solar generators, or those with capacity of more than 1 megawatt, is expected to be 50,800 gigawatt hours in 2017, “about twice as much electricity as produced by all small-scale solar systems in the country.”

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