A Look Back at the U.S. Solar Market in 2012

27 March 2013 Renewable Energy Outlook Blog

The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA)® and GTM Research have released a report on 2012 developments in the U.S. Solar Market. The report contains a significant amount of interesting data regarding last year’s solar market, as well as some perceived trends and forecasts for coming years. Some of the items that I found most interesting include the following:

  • Installed prices for PV systems across all market segments (residential, non-residential and utility) decreased 27% in 2012.
  • Total U.S. PV installations across all market segments exceeded 300,000 at the end of the year.
  • 8 of the 10 largest PV projects currently operating in the U.S. were completed in 2012.
  • 11% of all global PV systems installed in 2012 were located in the U.S., representing the highest global market share for the U.S. in at least 15 years.
  • Approximately 3,313 MW of PV systems were installed in the U.S. in 2012, almost 40% of which came online in Q4 2012 - Q42012 was easily the quarter with the highest installed capacity in U.S. history.
  • Only 30MW of concentrating solar power projects came online in 2012. However, several large CSP projects (including BrightSource’s Ivanpah project and Abengoa’s Solana Generating Station project) are expected to come online in 2013.
  • The U.S. utility PV market more than doubled in 2012 over 2011, with 1,782 MW of PV systems installed over 152 projects.

Interesting trends and forecasts noted in the report include the following:

  • Project financing is expected to diversify significantly in 2013, with a variety of new or relatively new financing structures expected to experience substantial activity. Such financing structures include solar REITs, crowdfunded solar projects, solar inclusion in master limited partnerships, and securitized solar assets. Securitization was the subject of a full-day workshop at the recently completed Infocast Solar Power Finance & Investment Summit 2013 in Rancho Bernardo, California, which I attended along with several colleagues from Foley’s Energy Industry Team – Foley partners Jeff Atkin and Bob Heinrich led a fascinating presentation regarding securitization of rooftop solar projects.
  • An anticipated resurgence in distributed generation in the next few years. This is a sentiment I have heard expressed by a large number of market participants.
  • The report forecasts a 28% compound annual growth rate for the U.S. solar market for the 2013-2016 period, down from 82% for the 2009-2012 period. While such a decrease in the growth rate, if realized, would represent a substantial decline compared to the past few years, as noted in the report, such a lower growth rate would seem to be far more sustainable over the longer term.
This blog is made available by Foley & Lardner LLP (“Foley” or “the Firm”) for informational purposes only. It is not meant to convey the Firm’s legal position on behalf of any client, nor is it intended to convey specific legal advice. Any opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of Foley & Lardner LLP, its partners, or its clients. Accordingly, do not act upon this information without seeking counsel from a licensed attorney. This blog is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Communicating with Foley through this website by email, blog post, or otherwise, does not create an attorney-client relationship for any legal matter. Therefore, any communication or material you transmit to Foley through this blog, whether by email, blog post or any other manner, will not be treated as confidential or proprietary. The information on this blog is published “AS IS” and is not guaranteed to be complete, accurate, and or up-to-date. Foley makes no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, as to the operation or content of the site. Foley expressly disclaims all other guarantees, warranties, conditions and representations of any kind, either express or implied, whether arising under any statute, law, commercial use or otherwise, including implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Foley or any of its partners, officers, employees, agents or affiliates be liable, directly or indirectly, under any theory of law (contract, tort, negligence or otherwise), to you or anyone else, for any claims, losses or damages, direct, indirect special, incidental, punitive or consequential, resulting from or occasioned by the creation, use of or reliance on this site (including information and other content) or any third party websites or the information, resources or material accessed through any such websites. In some jurisdictions, the contents of this blog may be considered Attorney Advertising. If applicable, please note that prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Photographs are for dramatization purposes only and may include models. Likenesses do not necessarily imply current client, partnership or employee status.

Related Services

Insights

A Review of Recent Whistleblower Developments
19 July 2019
Legal News: Whistleblower Developments
Cloud security inadequate for Cyber threats, are you surprised?
19 July 2019
Internet, IT & e-Discovery Blog
Blockchain: A Tool With a Future in Healthcare
18 July 2019
Health Care Law Today
Do You Know What IMMEX Stands For?
16 July 2019
Dashboard Insights
Review of 2020 Medicare Changes for Telehealth
11 December 2019
Member Call
2019 NDI Executive Exchange
14-15 November 2019
Chicago, IL
MAGI’s Clinical Research Conference
29 October 2019
Las Vegas, NV
Association for Corporate Counsel Annual Meeting 2019
27-30 October 2019
Phoenix, AZ