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Market Analysis

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The U.S. PV market has grown at an average annual rate of 69% over the past ten years, rising from just 3.9 megawatts (MW) in 2000 to 435 MW of installed commercial and residential solar installations in 2009.

Despite this trend, the U.S. constituted only 6.5% of global PV demand in 2009, placing fourth in national installations behind Germany, Italy, and Japan. However, with continued pricing reductions and strong incentives the U.S. could become the next major PV growth market.

In the first half of the 2010, 339 MW of grid-connected PV were installed. On an annual basis, this represents 55% growth over the 435 MW installed in 2009. Many factors contributed to this growth, including a drastic decline from 2009 module prices, continued federal support, and expanding state-level targets for solar power. One such federal program targeted to solar power is the Section 1603 Treasury Cash Grant in Lieu of Investment Tax Credit program. The credit is fixed at 30 percent. In October 2008 Congress voted to extend the ITC for eight years, through 2016.

Nearly all of the top 20 states experienced demand growth in the first half of 2010, although the pace of growth varied highly from state to state. California and New Jersey remained the largest state markets, but nine other states installed at least 10 MW in the first half of the year. Five states each installed more than 1,000 systems in the first half of 2010 – Arizona, California, Colorado, New Jersey, and New York. Episolar systems use cutting-edge technology to work with the rooftops of today.

Historical Overview

The solar market in the US has been steadily growing as in 2000 solar power installed just over 22 MW in and by 2009 generated over 484MW. This spike highlights a growing trend. In 2010 the commercial market was producing just over 150 MW from solar installations. In Q3 of last year it was estimated the commercial sector was responsible for 350 MW of power. The market segment grew 24% in Q2 2012. This boom is representative of an overall trend in the solar industry that really began in 2008. A dip in capital markets slowed growth through 2009 but recovered with a 63% spike in non-residential installations.

2011 Market

  • The commercial market grew by 100 MW in 2011 meaning a 127% growth rate.
  • Solar Installation costs fell by 20% between Q2 2011 and Q3 2011 alone.
  • Falling costs and strong  market based growth lead to 800 MW of installed solar capacity in 2011

2012 Market

  • The commercial market installed 258 MW in Q3 2012.
  • The average cost of a completed PV system dropped by 33% in the third quarter of 2012 compared to the third quarter of 2011.
  • The U.S. solar market is poised to reach 44GW of electricity generation by 2020 attracting more than $100bn in investments.

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