PV technology continues to increase its market saturation. Energy consumers are becoming more aware of the benefits of solar energy and how PV technologies can be integrated into their daily lives. Although the pace of expansion slowed in 2009 compared to other years, many opportunities still exist to capitalize on the potential of the residential, commercial and large scale power production PV markets Get a free quote today.
In the residential sector the main market drivers are public awareness, the existence of financial incentives and government policies. In the major markets Europe holds an edge over the US in terms of integrated solar energy. Public awareness of solar energy is reasonably high in Europe whereas in the US public knowledge is still developing. Along with public awareness the existence of favorable incentives and government policies drive the market in Europe. Reasonably high feed-in tariffs paired with long agreement terms create a compelling financial incentive for many European homeowners. The US national incentive policy is still in its early stages. In several instances, individual state policies are more uniform and developed than the national US government policy. However, the market potential for the US is enormous. Despite its lack of a uniform national incentive policy, the US ranked as the third largest PV market in the world in 2008.
For the commercial market there is significant potential for market development in Europe. Favorable feed-in tariff rates are a compelling factor for many business owners and enterprises who would like to develop additional streams of revenue. Another factor, electricity costs. If one were to exclude Japan, most European countries have the highest electricity prices in the world. The opportunity to offset these high prices paired with the price predictability of solar energy makes PV technology a smart choice for many businesses. Also, innovations in the commercial PV market continue to attract many commercial clients. Rapid advancement of Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV), along with inventive financing solutions such as Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) has increased expansion in this sector.
For the large scale power production market future development hinges on advancing technologies and reducing costs in order to generate higher returns on investment. In these circumstances PV does have distinct advantages. PV systems are highly reliable. This leads to reduced operation and maintenance costs. It also increases confidence in revenue projections, making it easier for developers to attract investors and secure capital. PV also offers many scalability advantages compared to conventional power production plants. PV power facilities are easier to expand than there conventional counterparts so they can be more quickly upgraded as energy demands increase. Another highlighted advantage is that a PV facility produces no pollutants or greenhouse emissions, an important consideration in meeting increasingly stringent environmental regulations.