Solar Sales Slip in First Quarter 2009

SolarPanel DesertThe spectacular growth seen in the solar-energy sector over the past decade appears to have stalled in the past six months.  Photovoltaic solar installationcompanies have seen revenues plunge 40 percent in 2009 as a result ofreduced solar subsidies in Spain and a global credit crunch that hasslowed development of new projects, according to a new industry reportby the research firm iSuppli.

The report, released on Friday, states that revenues generated byphotovoltaic installations have fallen from $30.5 billion last year to$18.2 billion in 2009. Photovoltaic installations, in megawatts, areexpected to decline 32 percent this year. The solar market is expectedto return to growth in 2010, with revenue expected to reach $23.5billion, an increase of 29.2 percent from 2009. In megawatts,installations are expected to rise 42.5 percent to 5.1 GW in 2010.

The combination of subsidy cuts in Spain and a flood of new entrantsinto the solar market resulted in an oversupply of solar panels in themarket. In addition, the global credit crunch restricted financing fornew projects in many markets. The industry will return to the loftygrowth it has seen in recent years in 2011, with revenue expected tosoar to $37.1 billion that year, up 58 percent from 2010.

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