The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.
Untitled Document

Solar Stunner: America is a $1.9 Billion Exporter of Solar Products

With all the stories about China dominating the solar photovoltaics (PV) manufacturing sector, you might not think that America is a net exporter of solar products. But it is — to the tune of $1.8 billion. That's a $1 billion increase over net exports documented in the solar sector last year.

In fact, a report released this morning from GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association found that the U.S. has a $247 million trade surplus with China.

U.S. imports in 2010 were estimated at $1.4 billion, while exports were estimated to be between $1.7 billion – $2.0 billion based on the availability of data for capital equipment sales. This made the U.S. a net exporter of solar goods to China by $247 million to $539 million. Imports came predominantly from modules ($1.2 billion), while exports were driven by capital equipment ($708 million to $1 billion) and polysilicon ($873 million).

Solar isn’t just about the module. When looking at polysilicon production, equipment for manufacturing lines, power electronics, solar hot water tanks, and any number of other domestically-produced products, the U.S. actually offers a good-sized contribution to the global market.

The 2011 Solar Energy Trade Assessment is a follow up from last year’s report, which found U.S. net exports in 2009 were worth $723 million.

The $1 billion surge in net exports came during a year when the U.S. solar market grew by over 100 percent. Due to the successful Treasury Grant Program and Loan Guarantee Program that made it easier for developers and manufacturers to finance facilities, the solar sector grew faster than ever before.

And all that solar — particularly solar PV — brings immense value to the domestic economy.

According to the trade assessment report, around 73 percent of the value of an installed solar system (equipment, labor, site management) is created domestically. When looking at the total solar-sector contribution to the economy, solar PV represents about 82 percent of the domestic value, with concentrating solar power and solar heating and cooling representing about nine percent a piece.

And these calculations don’t even consider the potential value to the electricity system. A report released in June by three solar researchers found that solar PV offers 15-40 cents per kilowatt-hour in added “value” due to its ability to match peak demand, reduce the need to build expensive transmission lines and provide local environmental benefits.

But whether or not policymakers will recognize these tangible benefits is very uncertain. With basic support mechanisms like the Treasury Grant and Loan Guarantee programs set to expire, and the House set to slash funding for various energy programs, America’s solar trade surplus could close quickly.

The findings of today’s GTM Research/SEIA report may surprise a lot of people, especially those who have focused on the Evergreen Solar bankruptcy story or the uncertain fate of thin-film manufacturer Solyndra as reasons not to invest in solar. In reality, solar is a very diverse sector — the $5.6 billion in equipment exports from the U.S. is an important reminder of its diversity and economic potential.

This article was originally published by Climate Progress and was reprinted with permission.

Untitled Document

RELATED ARTICLES

Sunrise in Pakistan as the Country Delves into Solar PV

Robert Harker Pakistan has joined the list of countries that are exploring solar power as a means to bridge critical energy generat...

Global Renewable Energy Roundup: China, Kenya, Turkey, India Seeking More Renewables

Bloomberg News Editors China is being encouraged by three industry groups to double the nation’s solar-power goal for 2020 to make up for sh...

Why Smarter Grids Demand Smarter Communications Networks

Mark Madden

Historically, utility networks and communications networks have had little in common.

The Importance of “Switching Costs” to the US Residential Solar Industry

Paula Mints The DoE and numerous organizations and governments globally are focused on driving down the cost of solar convinced t...

PRESS RELEASES

Appalachian's Energy Center assists counties with landfill gas to energy projects

The Appalachian Energy Center at Appalachian State University recently completed a proj...

Array Technologies’ DuraTrack HZ v3 Continues to (R)evolutionize at SPI

Array Technologies, Inc. (ATI) prepares to showcase its recently launched tracking syst...

Redesigned HydroWorld.com Video Gallery

Hydropower news and information, and interesting promotional announcements are now avai...

30 days to GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Geothermal Energy Expo

The Geothermal Resources Council (GRC) has announced that it is only 30 days to go to t...

FEATURED BLOGS

Appalachian's Energy Center assists counties with landfill gas to energy projects

Activity supported with Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation funding BOONE—The Appalachian Energy Center at Appalachia...

3 Reasons To Follow-Up

It’s very important to begin nurturing your relationship with a customer immediately after the project you sold...

Discounted Room Rates for Geothermal Event end Friday

Discounted room rates for GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Geothermal Energy Expo end Friday Room rates for this prestigi...

Who are the Solar Early Adopters? - the “Tipping Point” is Looming

We all know why people go solar: investment purposes, immediate savings, environmental concerns, and grid independenc...

FINANCIAL NEWS

I am a reporter with ClimateProgress.org, a blog published by the Center for American Progress. I am former editor and producer for RenewableEnergyWorld.com, where I contributed stories and hosted the Inside Renewable Energy Podcast. Keep in to...

CURRENT MAGAZINE ISSUE

Volume 18, Issue 4
1507REW_C11

STAY CONNECTED

To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:

SOCIAL ACTIVITY

Tweet the Editors! @jennrunyon

FEATURED PARTNERS



EVENTS

Intersolar North America 2016

Exhibition: July 12 - 14, 2016; Conference: July 11 - 13, 2016 Intersola...

Intersolar South America 2015

Exhibition and Conference: September 1-3, 2015 Intersolar South America ...

Intersolar Europe 2016

Exhibition: June 22-24, 2016; Conference: June 21-22, 2016 Intersolar Eu...

COMPANY BLOGS

Less Is More

When you’re giving a presentation, one of the easiest things to do...

Captivology

One of the biggest challenges we face as efficiency sales professionals ...

How To Optimize Your Meeting Schedule

Do you spend more time in meetings than you do actually working? While m...

NEWSLETTERS

Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now  

 

FEATURED PARTNERS