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North American PV installations reach quarterly high in Q4 2011

The North American PV market reached a new quarterly high with almost 1 GW installed in the last quarter of 2011, according to a report out today.

According to the latest report from NPD Solarbuzz, North American PV Markets Quarterly, this growth is due to falling market prices and regional and national incentives for solar energy.

More than half of the installed systems were large-scale ground-mount systems, with two-thirds of this demand coming from New Jersey, California, Arizona and Ontario.

Credit: Solarbuzz North American PV Markets Quarterly 2012

As expected, the report highlights the expiration of the Treasury 1603 grant program as a key driver for increased installations in Q4 2011. The report also cites changes in the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) targets – that is, regulations on how much electricity must be produced from renewable energy sources – as spurring growth in installations in some states.

“The key uncertainties on the rate of US demand growth in 2012 relate to the impact of the end of the Federal Cash Grant and approval timetables for large utility scale projects together with the market impact of states that have met their RPS,” said NPD Solarbuzz Senior Analyst Junko Movellan.

The report predicts that most growth in PV installations will be non-residential and utility projects, while demand for residential PV systems will grow only modestly.


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