Friday, May 13th, 2011 12:43 pmThe industry experienced year-over-year growth in 2010 of 67 percent, based on revenue numbers for installed solar systems from the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). “We haven’t found any other industry that grew faster,” said SEIA spokesperson Monique Hanis. "We are seeing unprecedented geographic diversity as well. I like to call this my Sweet Sixteen map. Last year, 16 states installed more than 10 MW; that's up from 4 states in 2007. Already, the Mid-Atlantic region is beating California as the largest market in the U.S. for PV installations,” she said.
The U.S. solar industry also is poised for more growth in the coming years. The Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern U.S. will have need for more than 3 gigawatts of new photovoltaics by 2015. That's enough solar to power more than half a million homes. And that’s just one region of the country. “Right now, there’s a total of 23 gigawatts of solar projects across the U.S.,” Hanis said. Over the next four years, the majority of the growth will occur in the southwest as huge utility-scale projects come online, according to Hanis.