Solar Power Photovoltaics: 2011 will be the year of the United States

Signals had already been seen in 2010, and everything suggests that in 2011 the US PV industry could reach record levels worldwide, according to a study by Enfinity and GTM Research

The US solar energy photovoltaic market will register a strong growth in 2011, which will turn the United States into a leader as regards global development in this field.

The forecast is contained in the report The U.S. PV Market in 2011, drawn up by Enfinity, a company that specializes in solar power, together with the consulting firm GTM Research.

The report identifies three key factors that will allow a rapid growth of the US PV market, also on the long run. Firstly, the large solar resources, considering that there is most sunlight in the deserts of the Southwest, but even the less sunny north-east is at least as insulated as Germany.

Secondly, the United States has a huge amount of available land on which plants can be built without major impacts on the ecosystem or on human activities. This is especially true for the Western States, which are the most suitable for the installation of large solar plants.

Finally, electricity demand in the United States is the highest in the world: the total consumption is over 7 times that of Germany and almost 15 times that of Spain.

Already in 2010 the installation of photovoltaic systems in the United States have almost doubled compared to 2009: 820 MW against 435 MW. 2011 will be the ideal year because of the economic situation: "The economics have never made more sense. As PV system costs fall, electricity prices rise, and project finance returns to the table, the US market is inching closer to reaching its potential as the centre of global PV demand, "said Shayle Kann, managing director of solar at GTM Research.