For the first time ever, the U.S. utility, commercial and residential sectors each installed more than 1 gigawatt of solar power in 2014. A gigawatt is enough to power 200,000 homes.
The U.S. Solar Market Insight 2014 Year in Review report by GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association said American homes, businesses and power companies added a combined 30% more solar photovoltaic capacity than the year before.
The addition of solar generating capacity outpaced wind energy and coal for the second straight year, but natural gas accounted for the greatest share of new generating capacity, the report said.
The residential market is adopting solar power faster than any other U.S. market segment, according to the report.
At least six of the largest U.S. homebuilders incorporate solar panels into the construction of new homes. Some California cities have started requiring builders to equip new homes with solar panels.