In light of the presumed slowdown of the European solar markets due todeclining feed-in tariffs, the global solar industry is training itsgaze on other growth markets: the U.S., China, and India, as well asOntario, Canada and Gainesville, Florida.
The U.S. is a prime target today. With a healthy utility sector and regional policies that make thecountry more than just a two-state game (those two states beingCalifornia and New Jersey), the U.S. could double to two gigawatts in 2011. There is a large pipeline of solar projects in the queue.
Ontario, Canada, with its aggressive feed-in tariff and domesticcontent rules, has created an active solar market. Hopefully, it’s asustainable market with an intelligent vision and a flexible long-termpolicy. The Ontario Power Authority has awarded 1,570 contracts representing 3,565 megawatts of wind and solar projects for Ontario. The majority of the projects are on-shore wind.
Which regions will grow after that?
Well, there’s a potential domestic China market — it’s only a fewhundred megawatts today but there are big plans in the works. China is considering raising its five-year goal for PV industry capacity from five gigawatts to ten gigawatts in response toJapan’s nuclear disaster, according to state-run media. But that’scapacity, likely for export, with uncertainty about whether there willbe a powerful domestic solar policy akin to the policy that made Chinanumber one in wind power.
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