While Italy and Germany slug it out for the title of world's largest solar market, the U.S. is hitting its own major photovoltaic milestone.

Last year, the U.S. solar market managed to consume 887 megawatts of solar panels.

This year, the U.S. of A. breaks the one-gigawatt bar for the first time en route to a forecasted 2011 total of 1.8 gigawatts.

The GTM Research team has crunched the numbers and, utilizing our state-of-the-art parallel processor supercomputer, the MJ-3000, has determined that the 1-gigawatt mark will be achieved on October 18. At 3:15 PM. When Mr. and Mrs. Shane McHenry install a 3-kilowatt system on their guest house.

A spectacularly detailed analysis of the U.S. market can be found in the just-published GTM Research Q2 U.S. Solar Market Insight Report.


The U.S. solar energy industry continues to be one of the fastest-growing sectors of the American economy in 2011. In total, cumulative grid-connected solar electric installations have reached more than 3 gigawatts -- enough to power nearly 600,000 U.S. homes.

“On the whole, the U.S. is currently the PV industry’s most attractive and stable growth market,” said Shayle Kann, Managing Director of Solar at GTM Research. “This is reflected in our report’s quarterly market data and in the comments from global suppliers, distributors, and developers, all of who see the U.S. positioned to nearly double its global market share in 2011 and support a greater diversity of installation types than has previously been seen in any leading demand center.”

U.S. Solar Market Insight™ is a collaboration between the Solar Energy Industries Association® (SEIA®) and GTM Research that brings high-quality, solar-specific analysis and forecasts to industry professionals in the form of quarterly and annual reports.