14 Dec 2011

In the global solar energy market, the U.S. has typically held around 5% of total market share due in part, to the general perception of U.S. investors that PV is a risky choice compared to other options.  Rebate and incentive programs like the Federal program, Business Energy Investment Tax Credit (ITC) have helped promote the technology however PV manufacturers and project developers are helping drive the U.S. market by taking a more pro-active approach to increasing the acceptance of solar projects amongst investors.

According to information shared at the recent U.S. Solar Market Insight summit hosted by Green Tech Media (GTM) November 16-17, 2011 in San Francisco, California, preliminary 2011 market results show the U.S. has doubled its share of the global solar market compared to other regions.  In GTM’s report PV Technology, Production and Cost Outlook: 2010-2015 the second most important factor (manufacturing cost is the first) driving the industry’s manufacturing competitiveness is Bankability.

The growing importance of Bankability requirements in today’s solar market demonstrates the shift in investment perception from short-term to long-term. Lower-cost product can offer short term gain however may not provide the long-term return and has a greater potential underperformance or failure.   This shift doesn’t eliminate the importance of low-cost product however it does indicate that it is no longer enough. 

Manufacturers producing product that meet Bankability requirements are helping minimize project risks and maximize overall return-on-investment and that is something investors and stakeholders can take to the bank. 

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