Solar industry in US could grow tenfold by 2014

The US solar market is growing and growing despite economic concerns. Solarbuzz, part of the NPD group, says that by 2014 the market could increase as much as ten times.

Solarbuzz’s latest report, called United States PV Market 2010, says that the solar market grew 36 percent in 2009 and is ranked third largest in the solar photovoltaic market, just behind Germany and Italy. While the growth is encouraging, it isn’t as strong as the US’ 62 percent growth in 2008.

The state of gold panning and technology giants California has been leading the way for PV adoption, accounting for 53 percent of PV on-grid installations and will stay ahead of the game throughout 2010. There has been a decline in demand from the corporate sector in the US government, but both residential and utility growth have made up for it.

It’s thought that cheaper installations in the residential sector has given a solid base for the expansion, as well as start-up markets in other states after new PV incentives had launched.

The biggest company for PV so far this year, and forecasted to remain so, is SunPower. It’s followed by SPG Solar which grabbed the #2 position in the charts.

Solarbuzz thinks that the market will grow to 4.5 – 5.5 GW by 2014 depending on tricky things like economic climate. 4.5 – 5.5 GQ is roughly ten times larger than the 2009 market and shows an impressive annual growth rate of 30 percent per annum.

There will need to be continued aggressive positioning in the utility sector, based on the need to meet Renewable Portfolio Standard obligations, if it is to keep on growing.  

Another key driver of the outcome will be the development of new state markets, with continued growth in residential demand helped along by price cuts.

At the moment, the US order book for PV is at 12 GW, taking into account the solar set-aside Renewable Portfolio Standards, projections of demand from incentive programs, stimulus funded projects and other large utility projects.

Solar is worth investing in. With price cuts coming thick and fast and more pressure to reduce carbon footprints, an affordable solar system is more an investment than anything else.

The US PV Order Book finds California has taken the lion’s share of orders at 49 percent. Arizona is next at 12 percent, then Nevada at nine percent, New Jersey at seven percent, Illinois at four percent, New Mexico and Massachusetts both at three percent and Maryland at two percent. Other states made up 11 percent.