According to research done by The Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA), in 2008, over 5,000 megawatts of new photovoltaic and concentrating solar power projects were announced, and with the eight-year extension of the US federal investment tax credit (ITC), the market is expected to grow significantly.
Along with the tax credit extension, the revised ITC also allows electric utilities to utilise the credit for the first time, by both owning or investing in solar projects, potentially creating a critical source of new projects and capital financing during the current economic downturn. The effect of the ITC extension combined with the expansion of global solar manufacturing, rapidly declining costs and price curves, and federal and state environmental policies, lays a foundation for utility solar innovation at unparalleled scales. In addition, the potential effect of the new administration’s stimulus package with an emphasis on renewable energy is anticipated to be very dramatic as well.
“This is one of those times when we separate the wheat from the shaft and differentiate which solar companies are making the appropriate adjustments to move forward and thrive,” stated Robert Kaapke CEO of Evolution Solar Corp. “We made a strong commitment to provide product procurement to our clients utilizing all the advantages the Asian markets have to offer and will continue to move forward in an aggressive fashion,” Mr. Kaapke added.
According to the China Solar Association, China produced solar modules with an output of 1180 megawatts in 2008 making it the number one producer in the world, and the China Daily reports that there will be a 9.6% rise in gigawatt installizations of solar panels in 2009, growing to 4.2gw for the year, up from 3.8gw in 2008. The European Photovoltaic Industry Association predicted the United States will overtake Germany as the largest solar market in the world by 2012 with President Obama’s strong support for green energy.