Researchers say solar manufacturing to rise 50 percent in US

Cambridge, Mass., September 15, 2009 — Despite a recession, manufacturing capacity for solar panels will rise at a rate of 45 percent each year, from 875 MW in 2008 to 3,880 MW in 2012.

This is according to GTM Research’s recently published report, “PV Manufacturing in the United States: Market Outlook, Incentives and Supply Chain Opportunities.”

Manufacturing capacity for solar cells will exhibit similarly strong growth, rising 50 percent each year from 785 MW in 2008 to 4,001 MW by the end of 2012. Overall, the U.S.’s share of global solar manufacturing capacity will increase from just 5 percent in 2008 to 14 percent in 2012.

The U.S. will contain a total of 38 PV manufacturing facilities by 2012, compared to 26 at the beginning of 2009. Eighteen states will have some form of manufacturing presence in PV by 2012, ten (Oregon, California, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Michigan, Ohio, Massachusetts, New York and Pennsylvania) of which are expected to have production in excess of 100 MW by 2012, compared to only three (Ohio, Michigan, Oregon) in 2009.

“The re-emergence of a strong solar manufacturing industry in the U.S. may come as a surprise to some, but it is a direct consequence of expectations by manufacturers of a strong domestic market for solar panels over the next half-decade. Historically, production has tended to follow markets, and this is no exception. With stimulus funds and massive utility deployment expected to drive 1.6 gigawatts in U.S. demand by 2012, domestic, Chinese and European companies are making major investments in solar factories over the next five years, particularly in panel manufacturing,” said Shyam Mehta, Senior Analyst at GTM Research and the author of the report.

“Adding to the momentum is the bevy of incentives available to manufacturers, most of them established over the last year,” Mehta added. Overall, 18 states offer manufacturing incentives for solar manufacturers.

The build-out of domestic solar component production will result in significant job creation potential in states where these plants will be based; the report estimates that as many as 20,000 manufacturing jobs could be created over the next four years. Some of the primary beneficiaries will be Midwestern states, whose cheap power, skilled labor and generous incentives make them extremely attractive locations to base solar manufacturing plants.

Previous articleDuke Energy selects Convergys to support smart grid initiative
Next articleSouth Mississippi Electric Association mulls stake in IGCC project

No posts to display