Despite constituting less than 6% of worldwide installations in 2010, the US is well positioned to become the focus of the global photovoltaic (PV) industry in 2011, according to a white paper released today by solar power developer Enfinity in partnership with GTM Research.
Entitled “The US PV Market in 2011,” the report, available for free download, analyses the key market drivers in the US solar PV industry and predicts that 2011 will be a vital growth year for the country’s solar market.
Enfinity’s white paper identifies three factors that provide the United States with enormous long-term potential for sustainable PV market growth:
• The US is home to an excellent PV resource. While the Southwestern states provide the highest insolation (exposure to the sun’s rays), even the Northeastern states offer insolation that is at a minimum equal to or greater than the resources of Germany.
• There is ample availability of land for PV development. The Western states, in particular, have large tracts of open land that could support large PV installations.
• Electricity demand in the US is the highest in the world. Electricity consumption in the US is roughly 7.2 times the total in Germany and nearly 15 times as much as Spain. In 2010, US PV installations more than doubled to an estimated 820 megawatts (MW), up from 435MW in 2009. While other markets, such as Spain, Germany and the Czech Republic, have faced drastic shifts, the US has seen steady, if incremental, year-to-year growth.