Skip to main content

US Solar Industry A Year in Review: 2009

Share

Executive Summary

Despite the Great Recession of 2009, the U.S. solar energy industry grew— both in new installations and employment. Total U.S. solar electric capacity from photovoltaic (PV) and concentrating solar power (CSP) technologies climbed past 2,000 MW, enough to serve more than 350,000 homes. Total U.S. solar thermal capacity approached 24,000 MWth.1

A doubling in size of the residential PV market and three new CSP plants helped lift the U.S. solar electric market 37 percent in annual installations over 2008 from 351 MW in 2008 to 481 MW in 2009. Solar water heating (SWH) installations managed 10 percent year-over-year growth, while the solar pool heating (SPH) market suffered along with the broader construction industry, dropping 10 percent. Solar industry revenues also surged despite the economy, climbing 36 percent in 2009.

Another sign of continued optimism in solar energy: venture capitalists invested more in solar technologies than any other clean technology in 2009. In total, $1.4 billion in venture capital flowed to solar companies in 2009.2

Solar provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) got off to a slow start but continue to ease the pressures of the credit crisis. As of early February 2010, more than 46 MW of solar capacity has been deployed with the help of the Section 1603 Treasury grants in lieu of the investment tax credit (ITC). Solar equipment manufacturers have been awarded $600 million in manufacturing tax credits under ARRA, representing investments in new and upgraded factories of more than $2 billion. For an industry that had a total U.S. volume of roughly $4 billion, this signals huge optimism about near-term growth.

Read the Full Report here.

Resource Type

Browse Resources by Related Topics:

Related Resources

Thursday, Jul 15, 2021

Joint Clean Energy Organization Letter in Support of DOE Clean Energy Funding

The Biden Administration has unveiled details for its fiscal year 2022 budget request for the U.S. Department of Energy. SEIA and a coalition of clean energy organizations sent a letter to congressional leaders urging them to support full funding of this budget request.

Read More
Thursday, Jul 08, 2021

Letter to House Ways & Means Committee Regarding the Solar Industry's Infrastructure Priorities

SEIA submitted a letter to House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Richie Neal (D-MA), articulating the industry's priorities for the once-in-a-generation infrastructure legislation currently under consideration. An excerpt from the letter is included below and you can read the full letter at the link above. 

Read More
Tuesday, Jun 15, 2021

Solar Market Insight Report 2021 Q2

The quarterly SEIA/Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables U.S. Solar Market InsightTM report shows the major trends in the U.S. solar industry. Learn more about the U.S. Solar Market Insight Report. Released June 15, 2021.

Read More