2011 is a breakthrough, record year for solar in North America, with an incredible 2,200 megawatts being built just this year, according to a report from Solarbuzz (http://www.solarbuzz.com/). Solar installations will increase 101% in 2011 compared to 2010 in the combined USA and Canada market. Solyndra is not the 2011 solar story, except for those in the political business.
Of the 2,200 megawatt total, about 1,850 to 1900 megawatts will be in the USA or 84% of the North American total and the remainder is almost completely located in Ontario. The USA 2011 growth is actually greater than 100%, while it is 35% in Canada.
In the third and fourth quaters of 2011, 38% of solar installations are ground mounted, while the remainder are rooftop installations. The vast majority are utility scaled projects or rooftop non-residential. Between 15% and 18% of the total are residential.
At the end of this brightest year ever for US solar, total solar capacity in America nears 4,000 megawatts. Solar has arrived, but the sun is just beginning its rise.