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U.S. Solar Power Capacity Grew 58% In 2010

Financial News Network
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March 20, 2011 AT 5:03 AM
The United States installed 956 megawatts of all types of solar power in 2010, for an increase of about 58%, to 2600 total megawatts of installed capacity; or enough to power 500,000 homes, according to a report released today by the Solar Energy Industries Association.That, however, represents less than 1% of all electrical capacity in the U.S.Photovoltaic (PV) installations led the charge, with 102% growth in 2010 over 2009. That however was outpaced by global growth of 130%, meaning the U.S.'s share of the PV market actually fell to 5% from 6.5%.Many European countries, such as Germany, Italy, Spain, and the U.K. are contemplating cuts to government support for solar power this year, leading to a drop in prices but also an opportunity for American customers.As a result, First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR), the largest manufacturer of thin-film solar modules in the world, expects the U.S. to be its biggest market this year. The company has 2,400 megawatts of North American projects in its development pipeline according to a spokesman for the Tempe, Arizona based company.