NewEnergyNews: SOLAR MARKET TRENDS

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    Thursday, August 23, 2012

    SOLAR MARKET TRENDS

    IREC Releases Its Solar Market Trends Report for 2011; PV capacity for installations doubled in 2011 compared to 2010

    August 15, 2012 (Interstate Renewable Energy Council)

    “…Falling photovoltaic prices, strong consumer demand, and financial incentives from the federal government, states and utilities meant that twice as much photovoltaic solar was installed in 2011, as was installed in 2010…[according to 2011 Solar Market Trends Report from the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC)]… It covers solar technologies that produce electricity, including photovoltaics (PV) and concentrating solar power (CSP).

    “…More than 1.8 GWDC of photovoltaic installations were completed in 2011 at 64,000 sites…Growth of the total installed capacity of utility and non-residential systems was dramatic, growing by 145% and 132% respectively, compared with 2010. State renewable portfolio requirements are an important reason for the large growth in the utility sector…[R]esidential installations grew by 24% on a capacity basis, a much slower, while still healthy, rate…”

    “…While California remains the largest U.S. market, with about 29% of the U.S. capacity installed in 2011, the amount of PV capacity installed in Arizona, California, Hawaii, New Jersey, New Mexico and New York in 2011 was at least double the capacity installed in each state in 2010…Many large solar projects began construction in 2011 in order to take advantage of the 1603 Treasury Grant Program. Most of these installations, both distributed and utility-sector projects, will be completed in 2012 through 2016…

    “Prices for PV installations fell in 2011, and all indicators point to a continued decline in 2012. Lower PV prices raise the potential for installations in states without state or local incentives. The number of states with strong solar markets is increasing, although…installations in 2012 will continue to be concentrated in states with strong solar policies…Early indicators point to continued market growth in 2012 due to the federal solar investment tax credit (ITC), state renewable portfolio standards, and completion of installations [and large solar electric PV and CSP projects] begun by the end of 2011 in order to participate in the 1603 Treasury Grant Program…Some of these projects are under construction and will come on-line between 2012 and 2016…”

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