A Growing Market
There is one market today that is growing more rapidly than almost any other in the United States. In the U.S. alone this market grew to a total of $8.4 billion at the end of 2011. That is up from a $6 billion industry in 2010, and $3.6 billion in 2009. This market has applications in commercial, residential, and utility scale projects. This market is that of solar energy.
Solar panel production and installation has grown rapidly in the last few years. With higher efficiency ratings, longer warranties, and a sharp decline in the cost of panels, solar energy is growing at record rates. Grid-connected installations grew 102% in 2010 to reach 878 MW, up from 435 MW in 2009, making cumulative installed capacity in the U.S. the fourth largest in the world.