HOUSTON, March 14 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. solar industry recorded growth in 2012, with solar installations up 76 percent, according to a report released on Thursday.
The solar energy has been the fastest growing energy source in the United States, powering houses, businesses and utility grids across the country, said the report by the U.S. Solar Energy Industries Association and GTM Research, a market analysis provider.
The United States has installed 3,313 megawatts (MW) of solar photovoltaics (PV) in 2012, a record for the industry, the report said.
California led the country in terms of the number of megawatts installed, with 1,033, followed by Arizona and New Jersey.
The fourth quarter of 2012 shattered all-time quarterly records as well, with 1,300 MW of installed PV, besting the previous high by a whopping 64 percent, according to the report.
The United States installed 11 percent of all global PV in 2012, the highest market share in at least 15 years.
Market value of U.S. solar installations reached 11.5 billion dollars in 2012, up from just 3.6 billion dollars in 2009, said Shayle Kann, vice president of the GTM Research.
"In 2013, we expect another strong year, driven in part by new mechanisms to increase the availability, and lower the cost of solar project financing," Kann said.