The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA®) and GTM Research today released the most comprehensive study to date analyzing trade flow and domestic value creation in the U.S. solar industry. “U.S. Solar Energy Trade Assessment 2010” found the U.S. solar industry is a significant net exporter of solar energy products, with net exports totaling $723 million in 2009. Additionally, U.S. solar installations created $2.6 billion in direct value to support the U.S. economy.

“Solar is a global industry. The U.S. imports and exports product from every continent. But in addition to being a major net exporter of solar energy products, the industry is creating significant wealth in the United States and jobs in all 50 states,” said Rhone Resch, President and CEO of SEIA. “We’re pleased that the solar industry is helping to reduce the U.S. trade deficit through significant exports of solar energy products. We are seeing investments in U.S. manufacturing in areas of the country hit hard by the recession – Tennessee, Michigan, Ohio and others. But we’re concerned that there is a lack of stable, long-term federal policies in the U.S. amidst an increasingly competitive global marketplace. Even modest federal policies like expanding the 48c manufacturing tax credit can help the U.S. solar industry remain one of the few sectors of our economy that is a net exporter, while creating tens of thousands of jobs,” said Resch.

“This report provides the most comprehensive outlook on U.S. solar energy value creation and trade flows ever published,” said Shayle Kann, Managing Director, Solar at GTM Research. “In addition to examining the location of final assembly of solar products, it considers earlier steps in the value chain and non-component costs such as installation labor, system design and permitting. These factors, which make up more than half of total system costs, are a vital part of any solar project.”