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, Nevada, New York, North Carolina and New Jersey. The PV market is expanding and the quantity of installations has doubled in more than nine states. In 2015, California had the largest market followed by Nevada, New York, and North Carolina. The numbers of solar water heating systems and solar space heating installations are increasing as well, mainly in Hawaii, Arizona, Puerto Rico, and Florida.
The American Solar Market in Comparison
In 2015, the American Solar Market was ranked number 5 after Germany, China, Japan and Italy 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 but recently regain strength ranking the US as the 3rd in added capacity of 6,201 units in 2014 . In 2015, with the recovery of the capital markets, the number of non-residential installations increased by 63% compared to 2014. 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.
In May 2015, SEIA, the Solar Energy Industries Association, predicted U.S. PV-market to grow by 25% to 50% in 2016, with a cumulative PV capactiy of 40 GW by the end of 2016. Roughly, this translates into 13 GW of added capacity in 2016
Solar Power in the White House
Photograph: Harvey Georges/AP
1977 the president Jimmy Carter surrounded himself with reporters and photographers as he inspected the then new solar hot water heating system on the roof the West Wing of the White House. On may 2014 Barack Obama has unveiled the new initiatives to expand the deployment of solar power in the whole White House.
Watch the Video Below:
More about Solar Energy in the United States:
SEIA, the Solar Energy Industries Association Website