Thursday, March 28, 2013

Solar To Install 4,300 Megawatts In 2013 Or The Equivalent Of A New Nuke & 20,000 Megawatts Total By 2015

The sun has never shone more brightly on the US solar industry than it did in 2012, when a record 3,313 megawatts of solar was installed or 11% of the globe's solar installations.  Yet, in 2013, the US solar industry will eclipse last year's record.

America will install about another 4,300 megawatts of solar in 2013--producing roughly as much electricity as one nuke--and will near a total installed number of about 12,000 megawatts by the end of 2013.

Given the 2012 and 2013 trend, it is almost certain that America will have more than 20,000 megawatts of solar operating by the end of 2015 and possibly nearly 25,000 megawatts.  These are astonishing numbers with big implications!

For example, like wind that is already driving lower wholesale power prices, solar will by 2015 have enough capacity and production in some markets, where it is especially concentrated, to put downward pressure on wholesale power prices. This downward pressure will be especially apparent in the 10% of hours when demand is highest--hot summer afternoons--that are also when wholesale power prices are currently the highest.  Those hours are also the most profitable for central station power plants, and so the explosion of solar will produce winners and losers in the marketplace.

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