U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Solar Power Leaders Launch Group to Grow U.S. Markets
March 9, 2005
Leaders from the solar power industry launched a new group, "Americans
for Solar Power - PV Manufacturers Alliance," on March 1st at the Power-Gen Renewable Energy Conference. The new alliance aims to
establish thriving, sustainable mainstream markets for cost-effective
distributed solar power, through policy and regulatory initiatives
that lead to robust market growth. The alliance, based in Arizona, is
dedicated to helping the United States achieve an annual 1-gigawatt market for
distributed solar power by 2010. See the press release on the
Americans for Solar Power Web site.
A study released by the Energy Foundation on March 1st finds a price
breakthrough would be one route to huge growth in U.S. solar power
markets. The study, prepared by Navigant Consulting, Inc., concludes
that a price of $2 to $2.50 per installed watt for grid-connected
solar photovoltaic rooftops could yield a U.S. market of 2.9 gigawatts
per year by 2010, nearly three times the alliance's goal. See the
Energy Foundation press release (PDF 135 KB) or go directly to the full report (PDF 2.0 MB). Download Acrobat Reader.
A less encouraging report from the Business Communications Company,
Inc. (BCC) predicts that the worldwide market for photovoltaic devices
will grow from 973.1 megawatts in 2004 to 1,778 megawatts (or about
1.8 gigawatts) in 2009. If foreign markets continue to be larger than
U.S. markets, that would make it difficult to create a 1-gigawatt U.S.
market by 2010. In a related report from DOE's Energy Information
Administration (EIA), a comparison of renewable energy policies in the
United States and four other countries concludes that many U.S.
policies are enacted at the state level and may not be synchronized
with federal policies, which themselves are subject to periodic
reauthorization or appropriations legislation. In contrast, policies
to promote renewable energy in Germany, Denmark, and Japan have tended
to be coordinated and consistent, thereby helping to build significant
renewable energy markets in those countries. See the BCC press release
and the EIA report.