American Solar Market
The Solar Market in the USA
Solar markets continue to grow in the United States in light of consumer interest in green technologies, concern about energy prices, and financial incentives. In 2010 the capacity of new grid-connected PV installations doubled and was an estimated 1000 MW. Experts expect capacity to double again in 2011. With this rate of growth, the American Solar Market could take a world leading position in 2015.
Americans are becoming more and more interested in solar energy. In particular, the number of grid-connected photovoltaic installations is increasing, with the majority of installations concentrated in California and New Jersey. The PV market is expanding and the quantity of installations has doubled in more than nine states. In 2010, California had the largest market followed by Arizona, Colorado, and New Jersey. The numbers of solar water heating systems and solar space heating installations are increasing as well, mainly in Hawaii, California, Puerto Rico, and Florida.
The American Solar Market in Comparison
In 2010, the American Solar Market was ranked number 4 after Germany, Italy, and the Czech Republic with regards to the capacity of grid-connected solar power. In comparing solar technologies, product availability, and pricing, Europe and Asia lead the way. The largest market for photovoltaic technology, specifically, is in Germany, whereas the largest market for Solar Thermal Collectors is in China. Spain is currently the leader for Concentrated Solar Power Systems. North America has the biggest market share for grid-connected PV located in Ontario, Canada.
Driving Factors on the American Solar Market
The driving force behind the American Solar Market stems from a combination of rebates and incentives, renewable energy-friendly policies, and affordability. Federal and State financial incentives and eco-friendly policies support the installation of American solar systems.
As a result of the economic crisis in 2008, investments in non-residential American solar installations diminished. In 2010, with the recovery of the capital markets, the number of non-residential installations increased by 63% compared to 2009. Investments in the utility sector are once again on the rise and make solar energy more readily available.
As a consequence of the growing solar market, PV module prices are declining. The availability of more affordable solar installations serves as an additional driving factor for the American Solar Market.