As a significant correction continues to roil the worldwide solar power industry, markets in North America are struggling to find stable business models and predictable, long-term growth. In both the United States and Canada, shifts in government policy and incentives have had significant impacts on both solar technology suppliers and system developers and operators. Continued low prices for PV technology have led to low-to-negative margins among manufacturers, company failures, and instances of inferior quality module products and poorly designed systems reaching the market.
Nevertheless, the industry will continue to expand even as profitability remains elusive. Surviving companies will emerge from this difficult period stronger, with genuinely lower costs, and likely more comfortable margins. Under the most likely growth scenario, regional demand will grow from just over 2,500 megawatts (MW) in 2011 to more than 7,000 MW in 2014.
This report provides an overview of regional demand growth for North America from 2011 through 2014. The report details three different forecast scenarios: reduced incentives, conservative, and accelerated. Five industry application segments - remote industrial; remote habitation; consumer power; grid-connected residential, commercial, and utility; and consumer indoor - are examined in depth, and regulatory and macroeconomic factors influencing the outlook for solar demand are analyzed for both Canada and the United States. The report also includes forecasts for the share of each major application segment through 2021.