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US Solar Sees 38% Growth in PV Capacity in 2009 (during the Great Recession)

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jpak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-10 11:29 AM
Original message
US Solar Sees 38% Growth in PV Capacity in 2009 (during the Great Recession)
http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/20...

The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) this week released the 2009 U.S. Solar Industry Year in Review, finding another year of strong growth despite the economic recession. Overall U.S. solar electric capacity increased by 37 percent (photovoltaic and concentrating solar power combined). This was driven primarily by strong demand in the residential and utility-scale markets, resulting in a 36 percent increase over 2008 in overall revenue.

Grid-tied photovoltaic installations grew by 38 percent. Residential grid-tied PV solar installations doubled from 78 megawatts (MW) to 156 MW while non-residential grid-tied PV solar installations grew 2 percent less than in 2008. The utility market tripled their cumulative grid-tied PV capacity from 22 MW to 66 MW.

Over that same time period, solar water heating shipments grew by 10 percent over 2008 while solar pool heating growth was 10 percent less than 2008 growth, reflecting construction and housing declines.

On a call to discuss the results, Freeman Ford, founder of FAFCO said that while the U.S. solar thermal is seeing much larger growth than in recent years, the market lags behind the rest of the world. He said that while the market was valued at US $30 million last year, he expects the market to grow at 50% per year every year for the foreseeable future, led in large part by California, which could support a $1 billion market on its own.

<more>

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kestrel91316 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-10 11:34 AM
Response to Original message
1. We have huge solar capacity here - endless fucking sun, and endless
suburban rooftops just sitting there.
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NYC_SKP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-10 11:52 AM
Response to Original message
2. Excellent news. n/t
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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-10 11:58 AM
Response to Original message
3. A "whole" 450MW peak @ 17% capacity factor = 78MW average output.
Edited on Sun Apr-18-10 12:14 PM by Statistical
Roughly 0.02% of US electrical consumption. Solar power contribution to US electrical grid "jumped" from 0.014% to 0.020%.

Solar has a lot of potential over the long term.
I love the markup on PV which is why I own solar stocks. Last year First Solar had 50% gross profit margin and 32% net profit margin on $2 billion in sales. Lots of money to be made in solar but it isn't even in the ballpark of cost competitive yet.

Until we see at least 1% generation and a realistic roadmap on how we are going to 10% it is premature to think it will "save us".
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jpak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-10 12:21 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. The stupid lame solar- is-tiny-and -can't-grow-any- bigger red herring argument shows its ass again
*sigh*

What part of exponential growth don't you understand - all of it?

dumbest-argument-evah

:rofl:
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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-10 01:02 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. What part of growth will not remain exponential. Law of large numbers.
In 2000 wind power growth rate was 37% annually.
By 2008 that had dropped to 24% annually.
The wind lobby estimate for growth rate in 2015 will be 16% annually.

No system continues to grow exponentially forever.

Growing 38% on such a small base is horrible.

US power consumption is 3816 TWh annually. So solar to supply just 1% of that (at 17% capacity factor) would require 25GW.

So even if growth rate as a % remained static (and it will decline it always declines) it would take about 6 years before solar produces 1% of power grid demand.
Of course that ignores that demand is projected to grow by about 3% (19% over 6 years). So based on growing demand it is more like 7-8 years before solar produces a mere 1% of electrical power.

Solar won't continue to grow at 38% annually. All we need to do is look at wind (and slowing growth %). Wind is roughly a decade ahead of solar.



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jpak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-10 01:28 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. but...but..but...you said solar was TINY - and thus not subject to the Law of Large #'s
Edited on Sun Apr-18-10 02:13 PM by jpak
:rofl:

PV modules are manufactured from aluminum and silicon - the two most abundant elements in the Earth's crust and found everywhere.

There is little resource constraint on the global growth of PV production..

25 GW of solar is eminently "doable" - in a short time frame.

Global PV installations were 7.5 GW in 2009 - production capacity rose to 9+ GW/year.

Germany *alone* installed 1.46 GW of new PV capacity in 2009.

New PV module plants produce can produce ~1 GW/year and can be constructed and put into operation in ~2 years.

The only constraints on PV penetration of the US electricity market are political.

Conservatives HATE solar energy and have done everything possible to thwart the growth of this industry in the US since 1980.

With liberal democratic progressive energy policies - there is no reason why PV could not provide 10-20% of our electrical production by 2525.

nope

the end.

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joshcryer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-10 04:24 PM
Response to Reply #7
12. PV modules need silver.
And the silicon required needs to be very pure (99.99%), which is non-trivial. Also, thin film solar needs indium and tellurium. Indium is more abundant than silver, but we don't have methods yet to extract it from other industry producers. Tellurium is rarer than platinum, so have fun with that. We'll have to use other thin film solar methods that don't incorporate those elements.
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jpak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-10 01:39 PM
Response to Reply #5
9. Oh yeah - global wind power capacity ROSE by 3!% in 2009 - looks like you are wrong
and total installed capacity rose to 157 GW - a very LARGE number.

wrong again!

oh well

:rofl:
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joshcryer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-10 04:14 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. Why are you being so derisive?
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jpak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-10 04:28 PM
Response to Reply #10
13. Because I'm sick and tired about all the lies and disinformation about renewables
and being called a science illiterate or whatever for defending a core Democratic Party value - support for renewable energy and green jobs.
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joshcryer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-10 04:14 PM
Response to Reply #5
11. Interesting point.
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NNadir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-10 01:08 PM
Response to Original message
6. Some math: 38% of next to nothing is still next to nothing.
If one gave a rat's ass about climate change, one might be appalled that in 2010, almost 3 and half decades since the other dangerous fossil fuel greenwashing twit Amory Lovins implied solar will save us, that the inability of the solar industry to manage to produce enough capacity to replace even a single gas plant, part of the time, is a grotesque failure.

For 8 years here at E&E we've been listening to "solar will save us" drivel.

Here's the result: http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/alternate/page/renew_energ...

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jpak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-10 01:32 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. more ambien-induced ravings signifying nothing
It is entirely due to attitudes like yours why we do not have a vibrant and growing solar industry in the US today.

Thank you ambien and Ronald Reagan

next time take the red pill

:rofl:

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