United States adds 565 MW of solar energy photovoltaic in 1H 2011

On September 20th, 2011, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA, Washington D.C., U.S.) and Greentech Media Research (GTM, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.) released a report which estimates that the United States installed 314 MW of solar energy photovoltaics (PV) in the second quarter of 2011, and is on track to install 1.75 GW by the end of the year.

SEIA and GTM’s "U.S. Solar Market Insight Report" states that this quarterly capacity added is 69% greater than in 2010 and 17% greater than the first quarter of 2011.

"The second quarter data illustrates that the U.S. solar industry continues to be one of the fastest growing in America," said SEIA President and CEO Rhone Resch.

"More than 100,000 Americans are employed in solar, twice as many as in 2009. They work at more than 5,000 companies – the vast majority being small businesses – across all 50 states."

Utility, commercial markets grow as residential slips

The report states that the utility and commercial market segments grew 37% and 22% respectively in the second quarter of 2011. However, the residential PV market declined 6%, the second consecutive quarter of declines.

SEIA and GTM also states that despite a decline in PV module prices, system prices remained relatively flat from the first to second quarter of 2011, with national average installed prices decreasing slightly to USD 5.20 per watt, driven by declines in commercial and utility PV.

California market slips to 94 MW in 2Q 2011

In a state-by-state analysis, GTM and SEIA note that the market remains relatively concentrated in a few states.

California and New Jersey have maintained their leading positions, together accounting for more than half the PV installed in the U.S. in 2011, followed by Pennsylvania, Arizona and Colorado.

California’s lead has slipped somewhat, installing only 94 MW in the second quarter compared to 112 MW in the first quarter. Also, for the first time, New Jersey installed more non-residential PV than California.

600 MW of concentrated solar energy, CPV under construction

The report also notes that over 600 MW of concentrating solar thermal power (CSP) and concentrating photovoltaic (CPV) plants are currently under construction in the nation.