SEIA: US market surged 69% in 2Q

The US PV market installed 314MW in 2Q11, up 17% from 1Q11 and 69% from a year ago, underscoring why it’s being viewed as one of the more promising solar PV end-markets, according to data released by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and GTM Research.

September 21, 2011 – The US PV market installed 314MW in 2Q11, up 17% from 1Q11 and 69% from a year ago, underscoring why it’s being viewed as one of the more promising solar PV end-markets, according to data released by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and GTM Research.

A few highlights from the report:

– US module production fell -11% in 2Q11 vs. 1Q11 to 333MW, thanks to slow global demand — which was also the reason behind sinking prices for modules (-12%) and wafers and cells (-25% each). Solar panel prices have dropped -30% since the beginning of 2010 — but the silver lining there is increased competition and a dynamic marketplace, making solar more affordable and (hopefully) spurring more adoption.

– Utility solar grew 37% in 2Q11, and the commercial market grew 22% — but residential solar actually declines -5.7%, installing just 60MW. Look for a bounceback in residential solar in 2H11 and 2012, though, as leasing business models expand across the nation, SEIA says. (Note that utility growth can be heavily skewed quarter-to-quarter given the size of these installations.)

– Over 600MW of concentrating solar (both concentrated PV and CSP) are now under construction in the US, with >7GW in the pipeline, of which 4GW has PPAs in hand with utilities. At the forefront of this sector is the 30MW Alamosa CPV plant, which began construction in 2H11 and should be done by year’s end. Note that the 484MW Blythe plant is switching from CSP to PV for its Phase I stage of development.

– Cumulative grid-connected US solar is at 2.7GW.

– Six states installed >10MW each in 2Q11, vs. three states in all of 2007. New Jersey’s commercial solar PV market is now #1 in the nation, bigger than California.

– 2012 holds plenty of promise for US solar, but also challenges to overcome, such as potential expiration of the 1603 Treasury program and a “malaise” in key markets including NJ and PA, says Shayle Kann, GTM Research’s managing director of solar.

An executive overview of the report is available for free download.


(Source: SEIA)

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