U.S. Solar Industry had Successful 2009, according to study
Despite the economic climate, the solar industry made significant advances in 2009, as consumers and companies invested heavily in renewable energy. The price of PV modules fell 40% last year, lowering the cost per watt from $3 - $4 per watt to $1.85 - $2.25 per watt. In addition, the total number of installed solar units grew by 37 percent. Over 17,000 jobs in the U.S. alone have been created in the solar industry, with 46,000 Americans currently employed in solar related jobs with an expectation of topping out at 60,000 total solar employees by the end of 2010.
Venture Capital investments also skyrocketed, rising from $4 million in 2008 to $1.4 billion in 2009. The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) concluded that "this signals huge optimism about near-term growth.” SEIA is anticipating even more gains in 2010 as the demand increases for commercial and residential rooftop installations completed in time to meet the December 31, 2010 deadline for the Treasure Grant Program. In fact, the variety of incentives at the state and federal level have been a big motivational factor in the switch to solar.