U.S. Photovoltaic Installations Jump in Q2 2011



Report from GTM Research and SEIA shows that U.S. solar photovoltaic installations outpaced the global market with demand growing 69% annually. In total installed photovoltaic capacity was increased by 314 megawatts an increase of 17% since Q1 of 2011. Current rates of photovoltaic growth will see a 1,750 megawatt increase in 2011 which is more than double last year’s rate. “The second quarter data illustrates that the U.S. solar industry continues to be one of the fastest growing in America,” from Rhone Resch, CEO of SEIA.

Gains were from utility and commercial photovoltaic installations which increased 37% and 22% while residential fell 5.7% compared to the previous quarter. Predictions were that this decrease in residential installations would reverse in the third and fourth quarters of 2011 as companies offering photovoltaic leasing continue to expand nationwide.

Global demand for photovoltaics didn’t meet expectations and resulted in a nearly 30% decline in prices for both solar wafers and cells. However, in August the 484 megawatt Blythe parabolic trough plant announced that it would be switching from concentrated solar power to photovoltaic technology. While global demand may not be meeting expectations the U.S. is bucking that trend. Currently in the U.S. more than 600 megawatts of concentrated and photovoltaic solar power are currently under construction.

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