Developments in solar and photovoltaic technologies are at the forefront of the global effort to discover alternative fuel and energy sources. With Bloomberg projecting that the solar industry will grow 20% in 2014, certain regions are set to participate in this growth more than others. A study done by GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association has highlighted the U.S.’s growth in solar technologies over the past year. The Solar Market Insight Year in Review 2013 shows that the U.S. increased its photovoltaic installations by 41% over 2012 to reach 4,751 megawatts.
VISUAL CONTEXT: ENERGY USAGE IN THE U.S.
Solar is only exceeded by natural gas among new generation capacity in the U.S., according to the research. Photovoltaic installations have increased in many states with California, Arizona, and New Jersey in the lead.
Reports from Research and Markets firm point to the Asia-Pacific region as swiftly developing dominance in the solar market as well. Prasad Tanikella, Senior Report Analyst covering Alternative Energy for the research group stated:
Governments in the region are promoting solar PV through various long-terms policies, financial incentives, subsidies and tax benefits. The strong commitment from APAC’s countries towards the development of solar energy has led to many research and development initiatives and increased solar power plant installations, which will drive future market growth.
The research points out that major markets in the Asia-Pacific are the world’s leading manufacturers of solar energy systems as well; China, Japan, and Taiwan are top producers of photovoltaic cells.
If the U.S. solar market continues on its current trajectory of growth — increasing to 29% of new generation capacity in 2013, up from 10% in 2012 — Bloomberg’s forecast could be correct. While Europe’s growth has been slower in the last year than other years, perhaps the big APAC markets will pick up the slack.