Published on December 12th, 2009 | by Zachary Shahan2
US to Become World Leader in Solar PV Market?
A new comprehensive study of the PV market in each US state and the US as a whole comes to some interesting and hopeful conclusions. One finding is that the US might surpass Germany as the leading PV market in the world within the next few years.
The report finds that, over the next four years, the US PV market will see growth in demand increase more than any other nation. The research company, Greentech Media (GTM) Research, expects an annual growth of about 48% (on average) in the base case scenario, totalling 1,515 MW in 2012.
In an “upside” economic scenario, the US will reach 2,022 MW in 2012 and pass up Spain and possibly Germany to become the leading PV market in the world.
Even during the recession of this last year, “grid-connected” PV demand has increased from 320 MW in 2008 to 440 MW in 2009. According to the report: “The residential sector and local/state government projects drive demand growth, thanks to stimulus funding and the recently uncapped residential Investment Tax Credit.”
California leads the country by far. It accounts for about 50% of the nation’s PV demand.
The sector with the most growth over the next few years is expected to be utility-scale PV.
Positive news of solar power’s growing success and predictions for the near future keep rolling in. Solar costs in the US are dropping — over the last 10 years, costs have dropped 30%, and the average cost at the end of this year is expected to be 50% lower than at the end of 2008 (this is before subsidies). Additionally, government incentives and possible discounts are as good as ever. Meanwhile, in Germany, solar panels are selling out because of a generous feed-in tariff there. These two countries may be in a tight race for #1.
Is it solar’s time to shine? And do you have solar panels on your house yet?
Image Credit: mjmonty via flickr under a Creative Commons license