(Bloomberg) — Homeowners in the U.S. installed rooftop
systems at a record pace in the first quarter as more than half
of the electricity capacity added in the country was solar.
Residential installations jumped 76 percent from a year
earlier to 437 megawatts, according to a report by GTM Research
and the Solar Energy Industries Association. That helped
increase total U.S. solar capacity by 1.3 gigawatts, the sixth
straight quarter more than 1 gigawatt was added.
The first quarter “provided a clear glimpse into the
future role that the residential sector will play as a primary
driver of not only solar-market growth, but the overall
electricity-generation mix,” Shayle Kann, senior vice president
at Boston-based GTM Research, said in a statement Tuesday.
Full-year installations are expected to reach 7.9
gigawatts, a 27 percent increase from last year.
By 2016, solar will power about 8 million homes and offset
45 million metric tons of emissions, the equivalent of
eliminating 10 million cars, according to the report.
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Carlos Caminada, Jim Efstathiou Jr.