Sunny Forecast for Solar Power

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The American solar industry more than doubled in megawatts last year, from 887 megawatts installed in 2010 to 1,855  megawatts  installed in 2011. This growth represents enough solar energy to power over 350,000 homes! 2011 also marks the  first  time  the  U.S.  solar  market  has  topped one  gigawatt  (1,000   MW)  in  a  single  year.

Many factors contributed to this growth. The cost of installing solar panels fell  20  percent  last  year  due to  lower  component  costs and improved   installation  efficiency. Expanded  financing  options  and  a  shift  toward  larger  systems   nationwide also made solar more affordable. In  addition the  1603  Treasury  Program,  which offered rebates for businesses that installed solar panels, ended  Dec.  31,  2011. This looming deadline  drove  developers  to  commission  projects  before  the  end   of  the  year.

As 2011 drew to a close,  solar  capacity  in  the  U.S.  reached  nearly  4,000  MW–  enough  solar  capacity  to   power  nearly  a  million  households.

“In  2011,  the  market  demonstrated  why  the  U.S.  is  becoming  a  center  of  attention  for  global   solar,”  said  Shayle  Kann,  Managing  Director  of  GTM  Research’s  solar  practice.

Last month solar industry professionals gathered to explore new areas for growth in 2012 and beyond. PV America West, an expo held in San Jose, CA, showcased numerous solar innovations and featured presentations about community solar projects, developing solar installations on landfills, and the role of solar in the upcoming elections.

According  to  U.S.  Solar  Market  Insight,  2012  will  be  another  strong  year  for  the  PV  industry,  with   installations  of  more  than  2,800  megawatts  forecasted.

For related articles, please see:
Triple Benefits of Solar-Powered EV Chargers
New Windows Generate Solar Power
Solar Roadways: Unique Business Model

© 2012 SCGH, LLC.

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