Stimulus = US and Arizona growth in solar energy and green jobs
As solar energy nears equal cost competitiveness, also known as power grid parity, in select regions of the world and the industry’s cell manufacturers proceed in lowering costs further, this industry is becoming a serious on-grid alternative. The solar industry growth in the last several years is reflected in a materials market for module manufacturers, which is expected to escalate in coming years, according to a recent report from Linx Consulting (Mendon, Mass.). The report indicates growth for crystalline silicon and various thin-film solar materials from a $2.3 billion market to a $15 billion market by 2015.
Although thin film comprises approximately 10 percent of the overall market currently, Linx predicts that thin film would increase to 40 percent of the solar market in 2015 on a watt basis. The study shows a particularly high growth rate for float glass, which is a critical base material which thin film based solar cells are developed on. These developments are a positive indicator for capitalization of the enormous solar potential for the state of Arizona, according to a May 18 Gerson Lehrman Group report.