Would it surprise you to know that in 2009, the U.S. solar industry (net) exported solar energy products valued at $723 million while solar installations created more than $2B in direct value to the U.S. economy?
SEIA and GTM research, in their recent U.S. Solar Energy Trade Assessment 2010, offers a comprehensive outlook on U.S. solar energy value creation and trade flows. In the report, not only was the location for final assembly of solar products examined, the authors also looked at steps early on in the value chain, considering non-component costs like installation labor, system design and permitting to arrive at its conclusions. According to their information, these aspects comprise more than half of total system costs.
There’s a great two-page fact sheet with highlights from the report with easy to read charts and graphs. According to the authors, the U.S. exported $2.3B and imported $1.5B in solar products, for a net export value of $723M.
The authors suggest that if the U.S. intends to compete globally with other solar manufacturers, it must offer comparable incentives.
You can read the full report on the SEIA website.