Report: Three "key" US states to account for 48 percent of country’s PV market by 2012

The report, ‘U.S. InstallerMonitor 2010 – Procurement Management of PV Installers in the USA’, said the country is one of the most promising future markets, which provides an attractive alternative to the “saturating” markets in Europe. EuPD added that California, New Jersey and Arizona are considered particularly lucrative, according to PV installers. It forecasted that in 2012 these three states combined will account for 48 percent of the total U.S. market. However, it said the report also quantifies the “interesting market potential” for emerging states such as Texas and Florida.

EuPD went on to outline five “key” U.S. states in terms of installer needs and preferences. They are, according to the company, California, Colorado, Florida, New Jersey and New York. It added that several states offer “particularly interesting” market opportunities for the country’s solar industry. “Continued strong energy demand, the accelerated push towards carbon-neutral electricity production, as well as the attractive tax and other financial incentives, build a strong foundation for the solar industry,” it stated.

A core component of the study, continued the research company, was an “extensive” survey of over 300 PV installers in California, New Jersey, Colorado, New York and Florida. Installers, it said, are the “gatekeeper” in-between manufacturers or wholesalers and end customers. “Assessments directly from these gatekeepers provide valuable information about current and future trends in the downstream PV market,” it said. Reportedly, the study results show that installers in California – the main PV market – see opportunities to expand in Oregon, Nevada and Arizona, due to geographical proximity and attractive framework conditions. Arizona, in particular, could become one of the most important markets, it added.

“PV module and inverter manufacturers need to strengthen strategic relationships in the channel to be well positioned once supply catches up with demand," said Wolfgang Schlichting, Research Director North America at EuPD Research. “Improving the additional services offered to installers and the flexibility of payment agreements is also critical to succeed in the downstream PV market.” Christian Schossig, Associate Consultant and Project Manager added: “Understanding procurement management of PV installers, the gate keepers, is critical in order to be successful in the U.S. market.”

EuPD Research went on to say that the results show installers of photovoltaic modules procure 62 percent of their PV products through third parties, such as wholesalers or other distributers. However, it added that 35 percent of the respondents purchase PV modules directly from the manufacturer. “Especially small and medium-size PV installation companies get supplied from wholesaler,” it said. “Large companies usually purchase directly from the module manufacturer.”