The U.S. solar market hit an astonishing record in 2016, installing 14.6 GW of PV power. This represents a 95% increase over the previous record of 7,493 MW installed in 2015, according to a report from GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association. Solar panels on rooftops and fields accounted for 39% of new generation last year, beating 29% contribution from natural gas and 26% from wind.
The progress was led by large fields of solar arrays, which generally cost less than putting panels on rooftops. Utility-scale development grew 145% last year, the most in the industry, as costs became increasingly competitive with power produced from gas, according to the report. [emp]