US solar industry booms according to new figures

Photovoltaic (PV) manufacture alone is worth almost $2bn to the US solar industry and account for 99% of exports, according to new figures.

New figures are revealed today (August 30) in the US Solar Energy Trade Assessment 2011 report, which is put together by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and GTM Research.

Both China and Germany were the biggest importers on American sourced PV components with the US to China market worth more than $240M alone, according to the figures which are for 2010.

Figures in the report show the US is ‘central’ to the global solar supply chain as in 2010 American solar firms had a positive trade flow of $1.9bn globally.

PV components accounted for more than 99% of the year’s exports, with solar heating and cooling (SHC) claiming the remainder of the positive balance.

American PV manufacturing industry also hit record highs in 2010, as exports totalled more than $5.6bn.

Meanwhile, US imports of PV products totalled $3.7bn, the majority of which ($2.4 billion) came from modules assembled overseas in, mainly, China and Mexico.

SEIA president, Rhone Resch, said: “The US solar energy market continues to be a bright spot in an otherwise bleak economy.

“As the global solar industry continues to grow and evolve, the U.S. is seen more and more as a leading market – both in installations and in exports. Solar is a showcase industry of U.S. ingenuity.

“To maintain our competitive advantage, we need innovative, proactive solutions from policymakers to match the investments being provided overseas to grow robust solar supply chains.”

Luke Walsh

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