A new market insight report from the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) outlines an impressive first quarter (Q1) for U.S. Solar, and significant contributions made by solar technologies on the U.S. economy.
The U.S. Solar Energy Trade Assessment 2010 [pdf] is the most comprehensive study of its kind to date, analyzing trade flow and domestic value creation in the U.S. solar industry. The news appears to be all good for the U.S. economy, with total net exports of solar technology reaching $723 million in 2009, and solar installations earning $2.4 billion in direct value support.
Some of the more interesting details from the report:
- Solar Systems (wafer and cell) pricing down 15% from Q1 2010.
- New Solar Installations up 67% from $3.6 billion in 2009 to $6.0 billion in 2010.
- 2.85 GW of new solar energy installed -- enough to power 570,000 typical homes.
- 1.1 GW concentrating solar installations currently under construction - enough to power 220,000 typical homes.
- Industry now boasts over 100,000 jobs (according to SEIA Bureau of Labor Statistics)
- Top three solar energy states: California, New Jersey, and Arizona.
In spite of the much-needed boost to the U.S. economy, there is concern about stability -- namely, how to implement and maintain a plan with long-term effect. As expected, the report has suggestions for industry leaders and government alike.
“We’re pleased that the solar industry is helping to reduce the U.S. trade deficit through significant exports of solar energy products. We are seeing investments in U.S. manufacturing in areas of the country hit hard by the recession - Tennessee, Michigan, Ohio and others," said Rhone Resch, president and CEO of SEIA.
"But we’re concerned that there is a lack of stable, long-term federal policies in the U.S. amidst an increasingly competitive global marketplace. Even modest federal policies like expanding the 48c manufacturing tax credit can help the U.S. solar industry remain one of the few sectors of our economy that is a net exporter, while creating tens of thousands of jobs.”
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