SEIA: US Solar Energy Reports Strong Growth in 2009

Overall U.S. solar electric capacity increased by 37 percent (photovoltaic and concentrating solar power combined). This was driven primarily by strong demand in the residential and utility-scale markets, resulting in a 36 percent increase over 2008 in overall revenue.

The solar industry added 17,000 new jobs from coast to coast and today employs 46,000 total U.S. workers.

Other Highlights:

* Solar water heating shipments grew by 10 percent over 2008.
* Solar pool heating growth was 10 percent less than 2008 growth, reflecting construction and housing declines.
* Photovoltaic installations (grid-tied) grew by 38 percent.
* Three new concentrating solar power plants came online. Cumulative U.S. CSP capacity reached 432 megawatts with a development pipeline totaling more than 10,000 megawatts.
* Solar manufacturing showed a 7 percent increase in PV module production from 2008.

Capacity by market segment

* Residential grid-tied PV solar installations doubled from 78 megawatts to 156 megawatts.
* Non-residential grid-tied PV solar installations grew 2 percent less than in 2008.
* The utility market tripled their cumulative grid-tied PV capacity from 22 megawatts to 66 megawatts. The total utility-scale pipeline (across all solar technologies) reached 17 gigawatts, enough to power 3.4 million homes.

Jobs and Revenue

* The solar industry added 17,000 new U.S. jobs.
* The solar industry today employs 46,000 and supports another 33,000 jobs in other sectors.
* Industry growth resulted in a 36 percent increase in overall revenue, totaling nearly $4 billion.

Capacity by state

California (220 MW) led in new solar electric capacity, followed by New Jersey (57 MW), Florida (36 MW), Arizona (23 MW), Colorado (23 MW), Hawaii (14 MW), New York (12 MW), Massachusetts (10 MW), Connecticut (9 MW), and North Carolina (8 MW).

Capacity by nation

U.S. (481 MW) ranked fourth in new solar electric capacity.