US solar power market reaches US$6bn in 2010

In total, 878 megawatts (MW) of photovoltaic (PV) capacity and 78 MW of concentrating solar power (CSP) were installed in the US in 2010, enough to power an estimated 200,000 homes. Cumulative concentrated solar power projects capacity is 507 MW in 2010, and 78 MW of solar thermal power plants were installed in 2010, according to the report. The US has 41 concentrating solar power (CSP) projects in the pipeline for a total of 9 GW.

Cost declines played a fundamental role in the 2010 solar expansion, as technology costs decreased dramatically and the industry developed further, capitalising on greater economies of scale and improved installation practices.

“The US PV market saw a breakthrough in 2010 and is emerging as a global demand centre for both suppliers and project developers,” said Shayle Kann, managing director of solar at GTM Research. “The U.S. Solar Market InsightTM: Year-in-Review 2010 examines the conditions that led to the past year’s growth and pinpoints future demand, industry trends and market challenges for 2011 and beyond.”

Rhone Resch, SEIA president and CEO, said, “This remarkable growth puts the solar industry’s goal of powering 2m homes annually by 2015 within reach. “The bottom line is that the solar energy industry is creating tens of thousands of new American jobs each year."