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

Wednesday, Jun 03, 2020

Rebuilding America With a Clean Energy Economy

As Congress looks to put Americans back to work in response to the COVID-19 crisis, the clean energy economy offers an enormous opportunity. Clean energy industries such as solar were among the fastest-growing sectors of the economy before the pandemic hit, with significant potential to create new jobs and spur the investments that are needed to put the U.S. back on track.

Read More
Thursday, May 28, 2020

Let Solar Compete in California

The Split-Roll Initiative Would Inadvertently Trigger Massive Property Tax Increases on Solar Energy Property and Jeopardize the Industry In California, property tax is re-assessed under two circumstances: when property is sold, and when new construction is added to a property. 

Read More
Tuesday, May 05, 2020

COVID-19 Impacts on the U.S. Solar Industry

Like many American industries, the solar industry has been hit hard by COVID-19. Compounding issues, including supply chain delays, tightening of tax equity markets, homeowners’ financial concerns, shelter-in-place orders, and permitting challenges are all placing tremendous pressure on the industry. Without strategic government action, U.S. jobs and economic investment will suffer.

Read More