US solar output from new installations to surpass 1 GW in 2010

12 October 2010 19:09  [Source: ICIS news]

TORONTO (ICIS)--The US solar industry may add more than 1 gigawatt (GW) of capacity this year – more than double from the 441 megawatts (MW) added last year, an industry association said in a study on Tuesday.

The US Solar Energy Industries Association said the newly installed solar facilities would provide enough electricity this year to power some 200,000 homes.

By 2015, the industry aims to install 10 GW of capacity, enough to power 2m new homes each year, it said.

Many chemical producers – including DuPont, Solutia, Dow Corning, Evonik, and Wacker, among others – are developing the photovoltaic and solar sector as an important growth market for their products.

In the first half of 2010, US growth was led by California with 120 MW of newly installed solar power capacity, followed by New Jersey, Arizona and Florida. In total, 341 MW were installed.

“First half solar installations grew beyond expectations as a result of declining prices, continued government support and improving financial conditions," said Shayle Kann, managing director with GTM Research, a firm that jointly produced the study with Solar Energy Industries Association.

"In spite of continued macroeconomic woes, the US solar industry is on track to have a record year in 2010 for both installations and manufacturing," he added.

At the end of 2009, the US had 2,108 MW of installed solar electric capacity, accounting for less than 1% of the US energy supply mix, according to information on the association's website.

The US ranked fourth in terms of installed solar power capacity, behind Germany, Italy and Japan.

In related industry news, US specialty chemical firm Solutia said earlier on Tuesday it had opened a new photovoltaic laboratory centre at Springfield, Massachusetts, to support its business in the fast-growing solar energy market.

For more on DuPont, Solutia and other producers visit ICIS company intelligence
To discuss issues facing the chemical industry go to ICIS connect

By: Stefan Baumgarten
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