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  • Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q4 Q3 Q2 Q1 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4

    Q4 Q3 Q2 Q1 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q4 Q3 Q2 Q1

    Q4 Q3 Q2 Q1 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q4 Q3 44

    Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q4 Q3 Q2 Q1 Q1 Q2 11

    Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q4 Q3 Q2 Q1 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4Q4 Q3 Q2 Q1 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q4 Q344

    Executive Summary

    U.S. Solar Market Insight™

    2010 Year in Review

  • 2© Copyright 2010 SEIA/GTM Research



    In 2010, the U.S. installed 887 megawatts1 (MW) of grid-connected photovoltaics (PV), representing 104% growth over the 435 MW installed in 2009. Despite this, U.S. market share of global installations fell to 5.1%, down from 6% in 2009 due to even faster growth abroad. Over the past six years, the U.S. has been growing at a relatively even pace with the global market; as a result, U.S. market share of global installations has consistently hovered between 5% and 7% since 2005. In 2011, however, this pattern is likely to end. A slowdown in major European markets (most notably Italy and Germany)2, combined with the continued strength of the U.S. market, has already led most PV manufacturers and developers to seek opportunities in the U.S. We anticipate an exciting, if volatile, year in the U.S. PV market. This report catalogues the beginning of this period.

    For concentrating solar, which includes both concentrating solar power (CSP) and concentrating photovoltaics (CPV), the U.S. is poised to become the global market leader in installations. After 20 years of near-dormancy in the industry, many large-scale concentrating solar projects are set to continue their expected ramp-up over the next few years including the expected completion of the world’s largest CPV facility (at 30 MW) expected before December.

    U.S. Solar Market InsightTM


    Note: The fi gures above can be found in greater detail within the document.

    1 This number has been revised from the 878 MW reported in the Solar Market InsightTM Year in Review Report.

    2 While Germany installed 7,391 MW of PV in 2010, the government has targeted an annual installation rate of 4,000-5,000 MW.



    Rank (Q1 2010) State MWdc

    1 (1) California 112.3

    2 (2) New Jersey 41.6

    3 (3) Arizona 22.1

    4 (8) Pennsylvania 19.8

    5 (5) Colorado 13.6

    6 (7) New York 5.8

    7 (9) Massachusetts 4.8

    8 (16) Maryland 3.5

    9 (13) Oregon 3.1

    10 (15) Texas 3.1

    11 (10) Hawaii 3.0

    12 (17) New Mexico 2.9

    13 (21) Nevada 2.0

    14 (19) Delaware 1.6

    15 (6) North Carolina 1.4

    16 (18) Wisconsin 1.3

    17 (14) Connecticut 1.0

    18 (20) Washington 1.0

    19 (12) Florida 0.9

    20 (11) Ohio 0.6

    21 (4) Illinois 0.0

    -- Other 6.1

    Total 251.5

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    Figure 1-1: U.S. PV Installations, 2005-Q1 2011

  • 3© Copyright 2010 SEIA/GTM Research



    Photovoltaics (PV):

    • Grid-connected PV installations in Q1 2011 grew 66% over Q1 2010 to reach 252 MW.

    • Cumulative grid-connected PV in the U.S. has now reached over 2.3 GW.

    • The top seven states installed 88% of all PV in Q1 2011, up from 82% in 2010.

    • Non-residential installations in Q1 2011 more than doubled over Q1 2010 in 10 of the top 21 states.

    • U.S. module production increased by 17% relative to Q4 2010, from 297 MW to 348 MW.

    While production from export-oriented firms

    and facilities dipped materially on account of

    soft demand conditions in the key feed-in tariff

    markets of Germany and Italy, plants that serve

    the domestic market enjoyed far healthier

    utilization of manufacturing capacity.

    • After a year of fl at-to-increasing pricing for some PV components in 2010, annual beginning-of-

    year feed-in tariff cuts and depressed global

    demand in Q1 2011 resulted in substantial price

    declines. Wafer and cell prices dropped by around

    15% each, while module prices fell around 7%.

    U.S. Solar Market InsightTM is a quarterly publication

    of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA)® and

    GTM Research. Each quarter, we survey installers,

    manufacturers, utilities, and state agencies to collect

    granular data on photovoltaic (PV) and concentrating

    solar. These data provide the backbone of this Solar

    Market InsightTM report, in which we identify and analyze

    trends in U.S. solar demand, manufacturing, and pricing

    by state and market segment. We also use this analysis

    to look forward and forecast demand over the next

    fi ve years. As the U.S. solar market expands, we hope

    that Solar Market InsightTM will provide an invaluable

    decision-making tool for installers, suppliers, investors,

    policymakers and advocates alike.

    See the back cover of this report for more information

    Concentrating Solar Power (CSP and CPV):

    • The 500-MW Blythe CSP plant obtained a $2.1 billion DOE loan guarantee.

    • Construction is underway on the 30 MW Alamosa CPV plant, with expected completion in 2011.

    • There is a Concentrating Solar (combined CSP and CPV) pipeline of over 9 GW in the U.S.; more than

    2.4 GW have signed PPAs.

    • In total, 1,100 MW of CSP and CPV are now under construction in the U.S.

    SEIA Policy and Research Division:

    Tom Kimbis, Director of Policy & Research Justin Baca, Manager, Policy & Research Samantha Jacoby, Policy & Research Analyst


    GTM Research Solar Analysts:

    Shayle Kann, Managing Director Shyam Mehta, Senior Analyst Brett Prior, Senior Analyst MJ Shiao, Solar Analyst Andrew Krulewitz, Research Associate


  • 4© Copyright 2010 SEIA/GTM Research



    Photovoltaics (PV), which convert sunlight directly to electricity, continue to be the

    largest component of solar market growth in the U.S.


    In the first quarter of 2011, the U.S. installed 252 MW of grid-connected PV.

    Although this represents a sequential decline of 110 MW from the fourth quarter

    of 2010, two factors should be taken into account. First, the Q4 2010 totals were

    propped up by the completion of 167 MW of utility PV as compared to only 33 MW

    in Q1 2011. The utility PV market remains lumpy as the completion of only a few

    plants can represent a huge swing in capacity additions from quarter to quarter,

    so little meaning should be attached to this variability. Second, seasonal weather-

    related impacts (particularly in Northeast U.S. markets) always push down total

    installations in the fi rst quarter. In 2010, for example, only 17% of the total annual

    installations were completed by the end of March.

    A more meaningful measurement is to compare the fi rst quarter of 2011 with the

    fi rst quarter of 2010. By this standard, Q1 2011 was strong, showing 66% year-

    over-year growth. As will be discussed in a subsequent section, the majority of this

    growth came in the non-residential sector, which grew 119% over Q1 2010. Despite

    strong growth in the fi rst quarter, the market will need to ramp up even faster in

    order to meet industry expectations, which generally anticipate at least another

    doubling of the total U.S. PV market in 2011. Given the pipeline of projects and

    recent module price declines, we believe this outcome remains likely.

  • 5© Copyright 2010 SEIA/GTM Research


    Figure 2-1: State-Level Installation Graphic


    Underlying Data Available in Full Report

  • 6© Copyright 2010 SEIA/GTM Research


    2.1.1 Q1 Market Growth: A Mix of Fundamentals and 2010 Overhang

    There are two major factors that drove market growth in Q1 2011: market fundamentals

    and 2010 overhang. These two drivers should be considered individually when analyzing

    the market because they have very different implications for future market growth.

    • Market Fundamentals – In large part, the U.S. market is growing because

    conditions have improved. Prices for modules, inverters and other balance of

    systems (BOS) components have decreased, new business models such as the

    residential solar lease have been expanded, and state markets have introduced

    new incentives to promote installations. These are ongoing factors that will

    continue to drive growth into the future.

    • 2010 Overhang – It is important to also consider the impact of projects that

    were started in 2010 and completed in early 2011. Some of these projects

    contribute toward the Q1 2011 total, but represent somewhat of a growth

    anomaly due to the expectation throughout most of 2010 that the Section

    1603 Treasury grant would expire on December 31, 2010. Although the program

    was ultimately extended through December 31, 2011, most project developers

    spent t


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