The U.S. photovoltaic (PV) market is expected to become the largest market for annual PV installations in 2013, with a forecast of 5 GW, overtaking Germany, Italy, and Japan, according to “Global Photovoltaic Cells and Modules Market,” a new study from ABI Research. An estimated 900 MW of installed capacity came online during 2010 in the U.S. PV market; that number is expected to almost double in 2011. Renewable energy technologies are receiving a strong push in the U.S., with utility, industrial and commercial PV installations expected to drive growth. Even the U.S. Army and Navy are reportedly examining possible PV solutions to energy supplies for troops and equipment.

“The U.S. federal government continues to focus on developing energy sources other than fossil fuels by extending its Investment Tax Credits (ITC) to 2016, and U.S. states are setting ambitious Renewable Energy Standards (RES) or Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS),” said Josh Flood, senior analyst.

Thirty U.S. states already have RES or RPS. These renewable energy objectives are targets for major state utilities to reach by generating or purchasing a percentage of their energy from renewable energy sources. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) clarified a ruling last year that previously had inhibited states from setting feed-in tariffs (FiTs) for renewable energy technologies. ABI Research predicts a number of states will introduce FiTs before the end of 2012. Currently, California has a RPS target of 33% by 2020, and is likely to be the first state to introduce FiTs for PV power generation.

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