Solar PanelSolar energy accounted for 74 percent of new energy generation in the first quarter of 2014, according to a new report from GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). 

In the first three months of the year, 1,330 megawatts of solar photovoltaics were installed, up 79 percent from Q1 2013. And for the first time since SEIA and GTM started keeping records, residential installations outnumbered commercial installations. Total installed solar capacity in the U.S. is now 14.8 gigawatts, or enough to power 3 million homes.

These numbers, according to Shayle Kann, Senior Vice President at GTM, “further [signal] the rapidly increasing role that solar is playing in the energy market. Expect to see a resurgence in the non-residential market, combined with continued incremental residential growth, throughout the rest of this year.”

Rhone Resch, the President and CEO of SEIA, has an equally sunny outlook:

“[Solar energy is] creating thousands of new jobs nationwide and pumping nearly $15 billion a year into the U.S. economy. Solar is also providing a big boost for our environment. The 14,800 megawatts of solar currently installed in the U.S. can generate enough pollution-free electricity to displace 18 billion pounds of coal or 1.8 billion gallons of gasoline. That’s the equivalent of removing 3.5 million passenger cars off our roads and highways. For states trying to meet new, enhanced air quality standards, solar can be a real game changer.”

The full report can be purchased from GTM Research.

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