Suntech Shoots for 20 percent of U.S. Solar Market (STP)

stp2 Suntech Shoots for 20 percent of U.S. Solar Market (STP)

Suntech Power Holdings Co Ltd just can’t seem to stay out of thenews lately.

News outlets have mentioned the Chinese solarmanufacturer’s name in connection with—among other things—a potential import tariff hike on solar panels, Pakistan’s incipient solar market and, most recently, Suntech’s plans for its first U.S. plant, around Phoenix, AZ. Now, Forbes (via Reuters) reports that the Asian powerhouse aims to grow its share of the U.S. solar market to 20 percent by next year.

Last year, Suntech possessed about 10 percent of the U.S. solarmarket share, with that number estimated to hit anywhere from 15 to 18percent this year, according to Suntech’s Chief Strategy Officer StevenChan. He breaks down the 20 percent market share goal to approximately150 megawatts’ worth of solar panels, divided into roughly 50 MW eachfor residential, commercial and utility-size systems.

Although the ambitions of China’s largest solar manufacturer arebig, its optimism appears to be in sync with that of the market. BothSuntech and competitor Trina Solar posted higher-than-expected earningson Thursday as demand for solar improved. The Reuters articlelinked above notes that the hope among solar companies is that “theindustry resumes its recent trajectory of nearly 40 percent annualgrowth after a dismal 2009, when the global financial crisis hurtdevelopment of the clean energy systems.” While Suntech has not yetinked any contracts for solar panels from its to-be Arizona plant, thecompany has “reservations for orders” for the second half of the year.