05 April 2007

2006 PV Production

Solar Buzz published its yearly report on Photovoltaic production. The bottom line is a 19% increase in worldwide installed PV and a 33% increase in cell production.

The fact that cell production increased much faster than installation suggests new supplies of polysilicon showed up late in the year, and bodes well for strong growth during 2007.

As always, it is fun to compare the industries claimed results with the EIA's Annual Energy Outlook. Solar Buzz reports a 33% increase in installations for the U.S. during 2006, approximately 140MW. The AEO (see table A16) reports a total of 210MW of grid-connected PV had been cumulatively installed in the U.S. by 2005, 60MW of which was installed in 2005 alone. They project about 700MW of grid-connected PV will be installed by the end of 2010. Roughly, the industry can install about 100MW per year for the next five years to meet the EIA's projections.

Of course, the 140MW figure is for all PV, not just grid-connected. Another web site suggests that in 2005, the U.S. installed 80MW of grid-connected PV and projects 290MW of grid-connected PV installed in 2010.