The U.S. solar electric market – including PV and concentrating solar power (CSP) installations – could surpass 1 GW of installed capacity in 2010, according to the U.S. Solar Market Insight Report, released by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and GTM Research.
The report includes data from the first half of the year, and forecasts that 944 MW of solar electric capacity (866 MW of PV and 79 MW of CSP) will be installed in the U.S. in 2010. This represents a 114% increase over the capacity added in 2009. However, the report says the industry has the potential to reach up to 1.3 GW by year's end, which would represent a 156% increase over the capacity added in 2009.
California led all states in solar electric capacity installed in the first six months of the year, with 12 MW, followed by New Jersey, Arizona and Florida. In total, 341 MW were installed in the first half of the year. The report projects a stronger second half for 2010 because of one large CSP project, a number of large PV projects and continued strength in the residential and nonresidential markets.
In addition, the solar heating and cooling market experienced growth. The solar water heating segment will have a sixth consecutive year of growth in 2010, increasing 16%, and the solar pool heating segment is expected to grow by 7%.
The report also projects market demand through 2015. The study's more aggressive projections forecast that annual U.S. solar electric installations will approach SEIA's goal of installing 10 GW per year by 2015, while its baseline forecasts fall short of that figure.