Residential solar now a billion dollar market in California.

REW: “Statistics released this week by SunRun and the PV Solar Report show the growing popularity of residential solar energy in general, and third party-owned solar in particular.” “Third party-owned solar installations have grown significantly in the past few years, and now represent more than half of new solar capacity in California and a handful of other states, according to Greentech Media. For residents, outright self-ownership might be more expensive up-front but could generate an overall higher return, but along with ownership comes decisions about maintenance and other issues, notes Stephen Torres, managing director of the PV Solar Report. With the third-party model, “all that other stuff is taken care of; someone will do it for you, and for lower overall cost.” ….Total solar energy systems in California rose 54 percent in 2012 to nearly 40,000, according to the PV Solar Report. In terms of contract dollar values, more than $1.2 billion of solar energy systems were sold, a 41 percent increase from 2011. Third-party owned solar delivered than $938 million to the California economy in 2012, an 86 percent jump from a year ago and roughly equaling the previous five years combined, according to their report.”