As a global superpower, the U.S. represents a fast-growing and potentially strong photovoltaic (PV) industry, according to Research and Markets’ new "U.S. Photovoltaic Market Analysis" study. Increasing budget expenditures on crude oil, gas and coal; high grid installation and expansion costs; and increasing carbon emissions have triggered PV industry growth in the U.S. over the past few years-including phenomenal growth in 2009, despite the recession. The total PV and concentrating solar power (CSP) capacities surpassed 2 GW, with a significant increase in industry revenue.
According to the report, the U.S. government continued its support and substantially increased solar energy technology budget. Out of the total $271 million solar energy investments, 182 solar projects had received Treasury grants of $81 million (as of early February 2010). With the help of notable government efforts and active participation of venture capitalists, the industry is expected to add around 0.87 GW of annual PV installations in 2010.
The non-residential segment has shown the highest growth potential. In 2010, the impact of federal stimulus funds reached full effect, and installations suddenly rebounded with easy credit facilities and various state government tax-incentive programs. Another trend seen in the non-residential segment was the usage of power purchase agreements (PPAs). Various companies have now begun signing PPAs to make these installations more profitable and viable for the long term.
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