2012 was another year of Success for the Solar Industry
For those of you that know me you heard how positive I was about the growth in 2012; well the actual numbers are in. Whether you heard me speaking at Infocast conferences, GTM's US Summit and or during meetings and conversations I was very positive about 2012. I believed that the solar industry would grow by 75% to 80% during 2012. This was an optimistic goal compared to many of the analyst that thought the growth for 2012 would shrink drastically from previous years, to as low as 8 to 10% growth. The main reason was because of all the looming problems that could deter growth.
Problems over come by ingenuity, experience and skills
Some of the looming problems were the anti-dumping issue, consolidation and the loss of 1603 tax credit. What many analysts did not take into consideration was some very important points when making their predictions. Such as all the sophisticated professionals that have moved into the solar industry. These professionals have been in other industries building and growing those industries. Other skills they brought with them is the ability to bring new financing sources, technology experience, expanded opportunities and the ability to get things done.
New financing sources were a major game changer for solar causing competition to win solar project opportunities to invest in. Many of these projects were boarder line without having new private financing sources and these sources were instrumental in completing projects. When you add to these financing options sophisticated professionals that have succeeded before in other industries you have the elements to complete more solar projects.
Solar installs exceeds analysts and critics predictions
Now the results for 2012 are in and GTM Research and SEIA report that the solar industry has exceeded their own predictions by better than double even triple. As the fastest growing energy source in the US, solar keeps stunning all the critics and Analyst's. There was more than 3.3 GW of solar installed, meaning an increase of 76 percent over 2011. Total installed solar market now is around $11.5 billion reaching approximately 7.7 GWs. This does not include the new products developed for solar and the trickledown effect into new markets created by Solar's growth.
What is most impressive is 11 percent of the global solar power now is produced in the US, as of the end of 2012. The US market share has been drastically below Europe but this pendulum is beginning to change. A breakdown of the US market is as follows: residential market had about 83,000 installs equaling 488 MWs, small commercial was 1.04 GW's and utility or large scale commercial 1.78 GW's (Quoted by GTM in their 2012 year in review). As I stated in an earlier article for 2013, I expect there will be about 4.4 to 4.8 GW's installed in 2013 which means we will have about 11.6 to 12 GWs of total solar installed in the US market by end of 2013.
Solar outperforms recessionary pulls
In closing it is important to recognize that all this growth has taken place during a long recession in the US. This recession has expanded globally, except for a few countries. Even though we seldom discuss or speak about the value to our planet by installing solar, one of the most important aspects about solar is we reduce our use of hydrocarbons that are causing the present green house effect hurting us, our families and our planet. Every time we reduce the use of hydrocarbons we offer a better planet to the generations that follow us.
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