Grid-connected PV installations in the U.S. more than doubled in 2010 to 878 MW, representing 102% growth over 2009 The majority of this growth, 359 MW, took place in Q4, as demand surged with the anticipated expiration of the Section 1603 Treasury Cash Grant on December 31, 2010. The program, which offers cash in lieu of the federal business energy investment tax credit, has since been extended through the end of this year. Therefore, a similar surge can be expected in Q4 2011.
Both the residential and utility markets expanded rapidly in 2010, leading to increased diversity within the PV market. In 2010, the utility, non-residential, and residential market segments each contributed over 25% to total installations. Historically the market has been dominated by non-residential installations which include commercial, public sector, and non-profit projects. Most other major PV markets in the world are centered on a particular market segment; the Japanese market is dominated by residential installations, large-scale PV systems are most common in Spain and Italy, and in Germany, residential and small commercial systems drive demand. This diversity of market segmentation in the U.S. will be a source of value for the market going forward.