The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) has released its 2008 U.S. Solar Industry Year in Review, highlighting a third year of record growth. SEIA reports that 1,265 MW of solar power of all types were installed in 2008, raising total capacity 17% to 8,775 MW.
The 2008 figure included 342 MW of solar photovoltaic, 139 MW of solar water heating, 762 MW of pool heating and an estimated 21 MW of solar space-heating and cooling.
‘Despite economic pressures, solar energy demand grew tremendously in 2008,’ says Rhone Resch, president and CEO of SEIA. ‘Solar is an emerging economic engine, creating thousands of jobs, unleashing billions in investment and building new factories nationwide.
‘To continue growing, create jobs and meet President Obama's renewable energy goals, we need smart federal policies, like a renewable portfolio standard designed to deploy solar resources,’ he continues. ‘Today's technology, combined with the right policies, will help us double U.S. solar production and move to a clean energy future.’
Report highlights include the following statistics:
- Installed grid-tied PV increased 58% in 2008 from 2007 and grew at a faster rate (81%) than in 2007;
- Installed grid-tied PV increased by more than 18,000 installations in 2008 (more than 27%), compared to 14,306 installations in 2007;
- More than 6 GW of utility-scale concentrated solar power plants are in the pipeline;
- PV manufacturing capacity increased 65%, and production increased 53%;
- Solar water heating installation increased 50% in 2008 (139 MWTh) over 2007 (93 MWTh); and
- The U.S. leapfrogged Japan and is now third, after Spain and Germany, for new capacity.
The full report is available here.