United States

US solar growth strong in 2010, but dwarfed by global momentum

The US solar energy industry enjoyed a year of record growth in 2010, but it was significantly outpaced by a global market boom driven primarily by the German and Italian markets, according to an analysis sponsored by Solar Energy Industries Association.
US solar growth strong in 2010, but dwarfed by global momentum

All told, the US solar market grew by 67 percent in value in 2010, reaching $6 billion (€4.2 billion)m up from $3.6 billion (€ 2.5 billion) in 2009.

The latest edition of the quarterly US Solar Market Insight said that growth in the US solar sector is occurring at the residential, commercial and utility scale levels, while also showing considerable diversity across market segments, geography and technologies.

But even with spectacular growth, the US market is slowed by the complexities of state-by-state differences in regulations, incentives, utilities, and financing structures, the report said.

Smart policies at the federal and state level, as well as a solid understanding of market conditions, are needed to continue and accelerate the growth pattern in the US, it concluded.

Photovoltaics continue to be the backbone of solar growth and 2010 was a record year for the sector with the grid-connected market more than doubling to 878 MW installed.

Prior to 2010, the US PV market had grown at an average annual rate of 69 percent over the previous ten years, rising from just 3.9 MW in 2000 to 435 MW in 2009.

Despite this trend the US constituted only 6.5 percent of global PV demand in 2009.

Globally, more than 17 GW of solar power were installed in 2010, more than 130 percent growth over 2009. As a result, despite demand expansion, the US market share of global installations fell from 6.5 percent in 2009 to 5 percent in 2010.

US Solar Market Insight is a quarterly publication of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA®) and GTM Research. Its findings are based on surveys of manufacturers, utilities, and state agencies and focus on happenings in the photovoltaic, concentrating solar power, and solar heating and cooling markets.

For additional information:

Solar Energy Industries Association

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