C&I additions of PV solar outpaced by residential sector, EIA finds - Smart Energy Decisions

Commercial, Distributed Generation, Industrial, Solar, Sourcing Renewables, Wind  -  March 24, 2016

C&I additions of PV solar outpaced by residential sector, EIA finds

Growth in commercial and industrial sector additions of distributed photovoltaic solar were overshadowed in 2015 by significant growth in the residential sector, according to a new report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. 

According to the EIA, total installed capacity rose much faster over the year in the residential sector than in the industrial or commercial sectors. The five leading states by annual growth in distributed PV solar were Nevada, New Hampshire, Utah, South Carolina and Vermont. 

The EIA wrote: 

While still far behind top distributed solar PV states, several states saw notable growth in 2015, including Nevada, where distributed PV capacity more than doubled from 49 MW to 129 MW. Further growth of Nevada's distributed PV sector, however, is uncertain because Nevada's Public Utility Commission recently approved several changes to the net-metering tariffs, including phasing in lower net-metering compensation rates and higher monthly fixed charges for distributed PV customers. These changes are an effort to address concerns about grid maintenance costs being shifted disproportionately from customers with solar systems to non-solar customers.

Overall, wind added the most generation capacity in the U.S. in 2015 , outpacing both solar and natural gas, according to the EIA.  New  electric generation capacity from wind accounted 41% of total new additions in 2015, followed by natural gas at 30% and solar at 26%, according to preliminary EIA data.

The trend of wind, natural gas, and solar additions making up most new capacity is likely to continue in 2016, the EIA said. 

Keywords: eia, PV solar

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