Solar industry's future murky
By Christina Williams
Sustainable Business Oregon editor
Utility-scale solar such as the Baldock solar highway project, drove the industry in 2011.
A new report released this week shows a strong solar industry coming off of its biggest quarter in history — but the market forecast for next year is decidedly foggy.
According to a report from Dow Jones Newswires, more than 1,000 megawatts of solar panels were installed in the U.S. through the third quarter, the most during any year to date, according to the study, by GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association. The study predicted that U.S. developers would install 1,700 megawatts, or 1.7 gigawatts, of solar panels this year, up 89% over last year.
The report indicates that utility-scale solar installations, such as the Baldock Solar Highway project in Oregon, are driving the growth this year.
But pricing pressures and tax incentive uncertainty are casting a cloud over the industry. In addition, a trade dispute with China, being led by Hillsboro-based SolarWorld, is adding a layer of complexity to the future of the industry.
Many of Oregon's solar companies are expected to survive a tough year to come.
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