Sunday, December 4, 2011

Steep learning curve

811MW of solar installed in the use in the 4th quarter of 2011. That is almost the equivalent of a nuclear reactor. While today's grid tied solar only has a 25% capacity factor; meaning it is producing peak electricity only 6hrs a day, this is a significant amount of power. 1MW powers approximately 200 US homes.

In the 4th quarter of 2011 South Carolina approved installs for approximately 90kw that's 1000th of the overall US market. California is still the US leader with 38% of the US market. NJ is 11% of the overall market leaving the 47 remaining mainland states to divide up 51%. Assuming the top 5 of those take 8% each that leaves 11% for the remaining 42 states. That is a 1/4% for each state. That gives SC a target of 2MW a quarter and 8MW a year goal to be considered even thinking of contributing to a domestic energy policy. That's a steep curve but one we could easily achieve if we worked together.

In Q3’11, the US PV market grew by 32% from Q2’11 and could reach 1.9 GW for the year, which would mean that the market has doubled in size for the second consecutive year. For large-scale non-residential and utility-scale projects in Q3’11 and Q4’11, the scheduled expiration of the US federal cash grant has encouraged progress to meet qualifying requirements; ongoing installation will continue throughout 2012, stimulated by the progress requirements for these cash grants.

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