High Potential PV Market California Still Ten Times Smaller than Germany

12 June 2009 by

The solar industry is desperately looking for new high potential markets as the Spanish market will collapse this year. Many eyes are focused on the US and in particular California as one of the markets with the highest potential with abundant sunshine, several incentive programs, high electricity prices, good infrastructure and the best developed US State market.

And, California is also the leading indicator for what might happen in other States later on. Some experts say it will take less than 3 years before solar electricity generated in California is cheaper than electricity from the Grid for residential consumers. Will this sunny State turn into a GigaWatt plus market soon?

Last year the California pv market grew 100% to about 160 MegaWatt of new installed solar power. Ten times smaller than the world's biggest pv market: Germany. Although modules are sometimes even cheaper than in Europe, the turnkey system prices are almost 50% higher in California. The reason for this significant difference is the complexity in administrative procedures for incentives, permitting processes and the National Electric Code requirements. With Obama strongly supporting renewables, the secured and uncapped 30% Federal Tax Credit, and several State and local incentives, the solar future for California looks promising. Is there a reason to be optimistic or should the sector put back its feet on the ground?

In order to understand and learn about the market practice complexity, the conference "The Solar Future California; a realistic approach to Califonia's PV market opportunities" is being organized by the global pv platform Solarplaza, in San Francisco on the 14th of July. The purpose of this one day event is to create a realistic picture of this potential GW plus market. Leading experts from the field will discuss in detail what it takes to develop and build residential and commercial pv projects. Incentive programs like the California Solar Initiative will be explained and its results analysed and discussed. What are system price trends and how did the recent drop in module prices stimulate demand? What are the major market segments, the 'hot spots' and what are realistic market forecasts? Experienced and leading Californian developers, installers, system integrators, consultants and utility company experts will explain in detail what the solar industry should know about the Californian market.

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