The U.S. Utility PV Market: Demand, Players, Strategy and Project Economics Through 2015

by Shayle Kann


The utility PV market in the U.S. is emerging as a central focus for global players. The current market, valued at $1 billion per year, is scaling rapidly as utilities respond to looming renewable portfolio standards and feed-in tariff markets such as Spain and Germany cut back incentives. These conditions point to a greater focus on the U.S. utility market as a global industry driver over the next five years, with market potential approaching an estimated $8 billion per year by 2015.

Along the value chain, utility affiliates, IPPs and integrated PV manufacturers such as First Solar and SunPower are driving development and leading in PPA contract capacity nationwide. Major incumbents from Europe and Japan are also entering the U.S. A number of these entrants are PV manufacturers following in First Solar’s and SunPower’s footsteps by pursuing a downstream integration strategy in order to ensure a sales channel for their products.

The U.S. Utility PV Project Developer Taxonomy

Note: Click on image above for link to a larger version

Source: GTM Research

This report examines in detail the current state of the U.S. utility PV market with an eye toward the future, considering the perspectives of developers, suppliers, utilities and regulators. We consider trends in project development, utility procurement, project economics, and regulatory structures in order to provide a comprehensive assessment of what is turning out to be a complex, dynamic market.

Base Case State Utility Market Share Forecast, 2010-2015

Note: Click on image above for link to a larger version

Source: GTM Research

Shayle Kann Senior Advisor

Shayle Kann advises GTM Research, the market analysis, advisory and consulting division of Greentech Media. GTM Research analyzes and forecasts the dynamics impacting the transformation of the global electricity sector. An expert on next-generation energy, he has presented at conferences around the world, been featured in publications such as The Economist, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Forbes, Bloomberg, Reuters, and Financial Times, spoken at Harvard, Yale, MIT and Columbia, and testified in front of the U.S. House of Representatives.

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