The Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) has released its annual report, ‘U.S. Solar Market Trends 2008,’ which provides public data on U.S. solar installations by technology, state and market sector.
According to the report, the annual U.S. photovoltaic (PV) installed capacity grew by 63% in 2008, compared with installations in 2007, to 335 MW DC (including both grid-connected and off-grid markets), bringing the cumulative installed capacity to 792 MW DC. Although PV installation growth had been steady for many years, the annual growth rate doubled when the federal investment tax credit increased in 2006. The report also states that early indicators point to slower market growth in 2009, with high growth rates returning in 2010.
‘By 2008, the capacity of PV installed each year was triple the annual amount installed in 2005,’ says Larry Sherwood, the author of the report. ‘More than 33,500 sites installed PV in 2008, with 62% of these sites and 87% of the installed capacity connected to the grid. Most of these installations are mounted on buildings, but some are ground-mounted installations.’
The report was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy through the Solar Energy Technologies Program.