2012 was a success for solar both domestically and globally, since some unlikely candidates threw their hats into the ring raising the bar. A research done by the U.S. Solar Market Insight Report that shows an increased amount of solar installed. In 2012 the United States was able to reach 1,992 Mw installed a 5% increase from 2011.
According to VP of External Affairs for the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), much of the credit for the landmark year was not technical innovation, but rather a financial one. Recent policies are allowing homeowners globally to afford solar without having to take a second mortgage on their homes.
In 2012 Chinese manufactures were accused of dumping oversupply into the U.S market at extremely low prices, which prevented the US based solar manufacturers to compete fairly. A ruling by the International Trade Administration levied tariffs on importation of solar modules using cells manufactured in China. Ultimately the decreased price has caused greater quantity of solar installations, but also made it increasingly difficult for manufactures to survive in a competitive climate.
Another aspect of solar energy that was impacted because of the oversupply was concentrated solar power (CSP). The reduction of PV prices had a negative impact on CSP, although it has an advantage that PV does not currently offer: CSP has the ability to store the energy they collect. However, not everyone believes that CSP will remain successful in upcoming year; according to Jigar Shah, partner at Inerjys Ventures “I think in 2012, CSP basically died” as a result of the inexpensive solar panels imported from China.