US to install 2.4 GW of PV this year

In its Photovoltaic Market Tracker Report, IHS iSuppli predicts that the U.S. market will continue on an upward trajectory, thanks largely to the country’s Department of Energy’s loan guarantees, which are helping to "stimulate the market and help secure a lower cost of capital for large projects".

In terms of 2011, IHS says that the number of installations is expected to increase from 39,000 in 2010 to around 49,000 this year.

Of the 2.4 GW, it is projected that roughly 1.4 GW will comprise ground-mounted projects, while 710 megawatts (MW) will make up commercial systems and residential installations will account for around 270 MW – a stark contrast to markets like Europe or Japan, where residential systems account for the lion’s share.

"Thanks to the implementation of many utility-scale projects this year, the U.S. growth rate in 2011 will be more than double the 80 percent expansion level of 2010, when photovoltaic (PV) installations amounted to just slightly over 900 MW," commented Mike Sheppard, analyst for photovoltaics at IHS.

As the research company previously stated, California will lead the country in terms of installed photovoltaic capacity. The state is predicted to install 967 MW this year. Meanwhile, New Jersey is set to come second with 263 MW, followed by Arizona (243 MW), New Mexico (139 MW) and Nevada (118 MW).

IHS adds that Nevada will enter the top five for the first time, due to a number of large projects in the pipeline. New Jersey, on the other hand, could experience "hiccups" due to reduced political support.

Furthermore, Colorado has been identified as having the biggest potential for expansion. "While the state in 2010 derived five percent of its power from renewable power, that rate is set to grow to 27 percent by 2020 – representing growth of approximately 22 percent," said IHS.