US PV installations set to reach 2.4GW in 2011, according to IHS iSuppli report

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The United States is set to have a record year of PV installations in 2011, as reported by IHS iSuppli’s new “Photovoltaic Market Tracker” report. According to analysis, US PV installations will reach 2.4GW, a 166% increase over previous years, amounting to nearly 49,000 PV installations this year, compared to 39,000 in 2010. It is projected that 1.4GW will be in the form of ground-mounted installations, while commercial and residential installations account for 710MW and 270MW, respectively.

Not surprisingly, California is anticipated to lead the way on solar power this year with 967MW installed in the state. New Jersey will come in second with 263MW, followed by Arizona at 243MW, New Mexico at 139MW and Nevada at 118MW. Other states in the top ten for solar installations this year include Colorado, North Carolina, New York, Florida and Pennsylvania. iSuppli additionally noted that Michigan, Kansas and Washington have all set renewable energy targets ranging between 10 to 20%, which they intend to reach by 2015 to 2020.

“Thanks to the implementation of many utility-scale projects this year, the US growth rate in 2011 will be more than double the 80% expansion level of 2010, when photovoltaic installations amounted to just slightly over 900MW,” said Mike Sheppard, analyst for photovoltaics at IHS. “Next year, new solar installations will reach an estimated 3.1GW, on the way to some 5.5GW by 2015. And while a downturn next year is forecast for Europe, growth will be good stateside because of healthy support from the U.S. Department of Energy in the form of loan guarantees to help stimulate the market and help secure a lower cost of capital for large projects.”

IHS speculates that over the next four years, New York will experience the fastest renewable energy growth, with a five-year compound annual growth rate in 2015 hypothesized for 29%. Colorado, however, holds the best potential for expansion with its power from renewable power rate set to grow to 27% by 2020, a 22% increase.

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