In 2010, the United STates represented less than 6 percent of world photovoltaics (PV) installations. Yet, the United States is well-positioned to become the focus of the global PV industry during 2011, according to a white paper released recently by international solar power developer Enfinity. The report, “The U.S. PV Market in 2011,” produced in partnership with GTM Research, analyzed the key market drivers in the U.S. solar PV industry and predicts that 2011 will be a vital growth year for the solar market in the United States.
“All eyes are on the U.S. PV market in 2011,” said Rafael Dobrzynski, Enfinity’s CEO in the Americas. “Being active in Europe as well as the Americas, we continually get questions about the U.S. market’s potential, demand ramp-up and the reality of a national feed-in tariff. Our white paper addresses these key issues as we delve into all these areas and provide valuable insights with hard numbers attached.”
The white paper identifies three factors that provide the United States with enormous, long-term potential for sustainable PV market growth.
First, electricity demand in the United States is the highest in the world, roughly 7.2 times the total in Germany and nearly 15 times as much as Spain. In 2010, U.S. PV installations almost doubled to an estimated 820 MW, up from 435 MW in 2009. While other markets, such as Spain, Germany and the Czech Republic have faced drastic downturns in PV demand, the United States has seen steady year-over-year growth.
Furthermore, the United States is home to an excellent PV resource. While the Southwest provides the highest isolation or exposure to the sun’s rays, even northeastern states offer isolation that is equal to or greater than the resources of Germany.
Finally, there is ample land for PV development. The western states, in particular, have large tracts of open land available that could support large PV installations.
“It is difficult not to be bullish about the U.S. PV market,” said Shayle Kann, managing director of solar at GTM Research. “The economics have never made more sense. As PV system costs fall, electricity prices rise, and project finance returns to the table, the U.S. market is inching closer to reaching its potential as the center of global PV demand.”
Enfinity specializes in financing and developing renewable-energy projects worldwide, with operations in the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia. The company is currently developing, building and financing solar PV projects with a total capacity of more than 200 MW. For more details, visit www.enfinitycorp.com.