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Breakout year expected as US solar sector posts 37% growth

The solar industry is expecting 2010 to be a “breakout year”, as new figures showed strong growth in 2009, despite the recession – particularly in the residential market.

Some 17,000 new jobs were created directly or indirectly by the solar industry as the nation’s generating capacity grew by 37%, pushing through the 2,000MW barrier for total output.  The pipeline of developments lined up in the US also suggests strong years ahead.  Growth last year was driven by federal and state incentives and a 40% drop in photovoltaic module prices, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association, which published the figures this week.

Revenues in the US solar industry grew by 36% compared to 2008 to more than $4 billion.

Rhone Resch, SEIA president and CEO, said: “Building off the successes of 2009, we expect 2010 to be a breakout year for the U.S. solar industry.”

“The right policies and industry innovation continue to drive solar’s growth across America. Now we’re talking gigawatts of solar, not megawatts.”

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