Global Solar Energy Market Bright After Tumultuous 2009

After experiencing its best year in 2008, the world solar panel market — comprised of the photovoltaic, solar thermal and concentrated solar power market sectors — suffered through a tumultuous 2009, but is poised to rebound in the coming years and ultimately eclipse the $83 billion market in 2014, according to U.S. Solar Energy Market World Data, 2nd Edition by leading industrial market research firm SBI Energy.

Future growth is attributed to the anticipated strength of strong photovoltaic module sales in countries such as the United States, Germany, and China, in addition to a continuing strong solar thermal market in the two latter countries. However, it is the concentrated solar power sector that stands to grow the fastest, going from a forecast $0.7 billion in 2010 to $3 billion in 2014, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 42% for the period.

"This strong growth for solar as a whole is going to begin in 2010 as sales in the photovoltaic sector continue to accelerate and declines in module and system component prices become far more moderate, along the lines of a 10% to 15% drop rather than the tumultuous 25% to 40% drop experienced in 2009," says Norman Deschamps, SBI Energy analyst and author of the report. "Equally noteworthy is the reality that global concentrated solar power installations are just getting started and we predict tremendous growth in the segment beginning in 2012."

In the U.S., the solar market has come far since its inception over 30 years ago, but still has a long way to go. While growth has been spectacular since 2002, solar power continues to hold just a fractional share — under 1% — of U.S. energy production. Nevertheless, the U.S. has the greatest potential to increase its position in the solar market. The U.S. photovoltaic market was up an estimated 6% in 2009 to almost $4 billion and photovoltaic installations rose to 469 megawatts, according to SBI Energy.

An extension of the solar tax credit and new recovery act funding helped keep the U.S. photovoltaic market on its continuing upward trajectory despite the turmoil that affected other solar market sectors globally. By 2014, photovoltaic installations are forecast to reach 7,600 megawatts by building on renewed interest in solar from utilities and the extension of the solar tax credit.

U.S. Solar Energy Market World Data, 2nd Edition provides a comprehensive overview of the rapidly growing market for solar power in the United States and the overall position of the U.S. within the world solar market. In this study, both solar electric and solar thermal technologies are discussed and analyzed; however the primary focus throughout this study is on grid-tied solar electric photovoltaic power, with solar thermal power accorded a secondary focus. This latest edition includes updated information on the photovoltaic, solar thermal and concentrated solar power markets in the U.S. to 2009; expanded market information on thin-film sales and manufacturing worldwide; forecasts expanded through to 2014; and more. For further information, visit:

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