Through the third quarter of 2011, the U.S. solar market installed more than 1 gigawatt (GW) of grid-connected photovoltaics (PV) on the year, far surpassing the 2010 annual total of 887 megawatts (MW). The third quarter of 2011 was also the largest quarter for installations ever seen in the U.S., supported by utility-scale project completions and rapidly declining prices for PV modules.
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In 2010, the U.S. installed 887 megawatts (MW) of grid-connected PV, 104% growth over the 435 MW installed in 2009. Despite this, U.S. market share of global installations fell to 5.1%, down from 6.0% in 2009. Over the past six years, the U.S. has been growing at a relatively even pace with the global market; as a result, U.S. market share of global installations has consistently hovered between 5% and 7% since 2005. In 2011, however, this pattern is likely to end. A first-half slowdown in major European markets (most notably Italy and Germany) combined with continued strength in the U.S. has already led most PV manufacturers and developers to seek opportunities in the U.S. market with many in the industry expecting the it to be the largest market in the world within a few years.
In 2011, however, this pattern is likely to end. A slowdown in major European markets (most notably Italy and Germany)2, combined with the continued strength of the U.S. market, has already led most PV manufacturers and developers to seek opportunities in the U.S. We anticipate an exciting, if volatile, year in the U.S. PV market. This report catalogues the beginning of this period.
The U.S. solar market is increasingly becoming a central focus of global industry attention, but state-by-state differences in regulations, incentives, utilities, and financing structures introduce more complexities in comparison to other markets. As a result, it has long been difficult to track and understand the changing market dynamics for solar energy in the U.S.
The U.S. solar energy industry grew to new heights in 2008 and many industry observers expect thatgrowth to continue in 2009. Total capacity grew by 1,265 megawatts (MW)1 in 2008, up from 1,159 MW installed in 2007.2 This brings the total installed capacity up by 16 percent to 9,183 MW. Capacity in both photovoltaic (PV) and solar water heating systems grew at record levels. And while no new concentrating solar power (CSP) plants were completed in 2008, projects totaling more than 6,000 MW are in the pipeline most with signed purchase power agreements. Solar pool heating capacity grew at a slower rate than in 2007, reflecting conditions in the residential real estate market.
In 2007, the U.S. solar energy industry saw a glimpse of a gigawatt future. There was signi?cant growth in the commercial and residential PV markets and a new utility-scale segment for PV emerged with the fastest growth of all segments representing over 15 percent of the annual U.S. installed PV capacity. The ?rst concentrating solar power plant was built in more than 15 years with dozens more utility-scale projects in the pipeline. The expansion of the solar water heating market continued. Thousands of U.S. jobs were created and billions of dollars were invested. And, the industry strengthened its presence in Washington and our united coalition support across the country.
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) routinely estimates the technical potential of specific renewable electricity generation technologies.
Establishing interconnection to the grid is a recognized barrier to the deployment of distributed energy generation. This report compares interconnection processes for photovoltaic projects in California and Germany.
More than half of the electricity produced in the southeastern states is fuelled by coal. Although the region produces some coal, most of the states depend heavily on coal imports.
This case study covers the process of successfully integrating photovoltaic (PV) systems into a low-income housing development in northeast Denver, Colorado, focusing specifically on a new financing model and job training.