Friday, April 20, 2012

North American Solar Industry Ready to Build on Record Growth, Maintain Market Momentum

Intersolar North America, the premier solar industry exhibition and conference in North America for solar professionals to exchange information and develop business opportunities in the U.S. solar market, will return to San Francisco July 9-12, 2012. Co-located with SEMICON West, the event is expected to draw approximately 950 exhibitors and registered visitors from more than 80 countries to provide a true global perspective of the solar industry.

Solar Market Expands in 2011

The U.S. solar market doubled in size during 2011, with an estimated 1.9 GW of new capacity installed nationwide. Contributing to market growth was a decline in equipment costs, as well as favorable incentives at the federal and state levels. While many other states experienced rapid solar growth, California remains the largest market in the U.S., with more than 1 GW of total installed capacity. The United States currently has approximately 4.5 GW of solar installed nationally, and is expected to add nearly 3.2 GW of solar in 2012, bringing the total installed solar capacity to 7.7 GW by the end of the year.

As solar technologies mature, module prices are decreasing and transitioning investment interest to the downstream innovations that promise to ease the installation process while reducing labor, operation and maintenance costs--from balance of systems components to new financing options. Additionally, industry consolidation is expected as major upstream players seek to acquire organizations with strong project development capabilities.

Forecast and Predictions

Despite industry challenges, including the expiration of the U.S. Treasury Department's 1603 grant program and the impact of global competition on pricing and market stability, analysts expect the North American market to grow across all sectors in 2012.

"The North American solar market is steadily gaining traction, thanks to a combination of maturing technologies, declining costs and burgeoning regional incentives. California remains at the forefront of the U.S. market, standing as a prime example of the positive impact to be had through investment in renewable energy," said Daniela Schreiber, Executive Vice President of EuPD Research USA. "We anticipate approximately 1,020 MW in new installed capacity during 2012, and as many as 8,462 jobs created across the supply chain."

With over 3,500 exhibitors and 120,000 visitors spanning three continents, Intersolar is the world's leading exhibition series for the solar industry.

Intersolar North America takes place annually in San Francisco's Moscone Center. Since its establishment in 2008, the exhibition and conference have developed into the premier platform for the solar industry in North America. Intersolar North America focuses on photovoltaics and solar thermal technologies and is co-located with SEMICON West. It has quickly established itself among manufacturers, suppliers, distributors and service providers as an international industry meeting point.

In total, 834 exhibitors and 19,168 trade visitors participated in 2011. The conference featured 30 sessions with 220 speakers and catered to 1,617 conference attendees.

Intersolar's storied history of international exhibitions and conferences spans more than 20 years. Taking place in addition to Intersolar North America are Intersolar India in Mumbai, and Intersolar China in Beijing, which was launched in 2011. The world's largest exhibition for the solar industry is Intersolar Europe in Munich.


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