US: Falling prices, strong incentives and policies boost PV growth


Supported by incentives and policies on federal, state and local levels, the U.S. photovoltaic market remains strong although the growth varies greatly between market segments. The recent Solarbuzz report into the U.S. market forecasts that it will become the third largest – with 12 percent of the global market share – in 2011, behind Germany and Italy.

Solarbuzz President Craig Stevens explained that, "with rapid declines in factory gate prices over the past eight weeks as manufacturers and distributors focus on depleting module inventories, demand has picked up across residential, corporate and government segments". Strong demand from utilities for renewable energy and the incentive to finish installations before federal grants expire at the end of the year are further feeding growth.

Schemes such as the federal Investment Tax Credit and Treasury Cash Grants have been stimulating investment in the field as have state-based Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) which require utilities to purchase a certain amount of their energy from renewable sources such as photovoltaics. This latter demand source has seen the utility-scale market segment expand from 17 percent in 2009 to 31 percent in 2010. Large projects of more than 10 megawatts (MW) have also been seen to increase, with their number growing three-fold in 2010 to over 30 projects.

Solarbuzz, in its United States 2011 PV Market report released in June of this year, forecasts utility demand for photovoltaic generated electricity to account for almost 60 percent of the on-grid market by 2015.

Chinese module manufacturers have been observed by Solarbuzz to be the beneficiaries of this growth in demand, with their market share growing from 11 precent in 2009 to 37 percent in 2010.

Solarbuzz sees the extension of the federal Treasury Cash Grant as being crucial to future utility-scale growth. Its forecast for the annual photovoltaic market in 2015 is growth of 6.5 gigawatts (GW) of installed capacity.

Popular content

This content is protected by copyright and may not be reused. If you want to cooperate with us and would like to reuse some of our content, please contact:


Related content

Elsewhere on pv magazine...

Leave a Reply

Please be mindful of our community standards.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

By submitting this form you agree to pv magazine using your data for the purposes of publishing your comment.

Your personal data will only be disclosed or otherwise transmitted to third parties for the purposes of spam filtering or if this is necessary for technical maintenance of the website. Any other transfer to third parties will not take place unless this is justified on the basis of applicable data protection regulations or if pv magazine is legally obliged to do so.

You may revoke this consent at any time with effect for the future, in which case your personal data will be deleted immediately. Otherwise, your data will be deleted if pv magazine has processed your request or the purpose of data storage is fulfilled.

Further information on data privacy can be found in our Data Protection Policy.