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US Solar adds 10.6 Gigawatts In 2017

Power News - Published on Mon, 19 Mar 2018

Image Source: Clentechnica
Clentechnica reported that US solar PV market installed a total of 10.6 gigawatts of new capacity in 2017, according to a new report from GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association, which is down 10% from 2016 and exposes weaknesses in certain market segments and specific locations around the country. While there were high points for the US solar PV industry in 2017, it was nevertheless the rapid shifts and declines which really painted the picture. Though the community and commercial solar segments both showed strong growth in 2017, the residential and utility-scale segments saw their installation numbers fall for the first time since 2010.

The residential sector fell 16% year-over-year driven primarily by weakness in California and major Northeast markets, despite what GTM Research describes as “a relatively stable policy environment” and grid parity in half of all US states. Cause for the residential decline stems in part from pullback by certain national installers that are shifting away from rapid expansion strategies and relying instead on solidifying their existing position.

Vivint Solar is a good example of this strategy. Last week the company reported that it had missed the low end of its Q4’17 guidance but was nevertheless happy with its business plans, increasing revenue over market share.

Austin Perea, solar analyst at GTM Research and lead author of the report said that “The main story for residential solar is that across all major markets we saw a significant slowdown.”

In contrast, however, the non-residential sector grew by 28% year-over-year thanks to regulatory demand pull-in from looming policy deadlines in both California and the Northeast, as well as the continued build-out of the community solar pipeline in Minnesota.

Mr Perea said that “Minnesota headlined a banner year for community solar, with more megawatts installed in that state than total U.S. community solar installations in all of 2016. We expect community solar to diversify geographically in 2018, with Maryland and New York to be key growth markets for the sub-segment beginning this year.”

This was also the focus of the Solar Energy Industries Association which focused on the impact of the corporate and community solar segments, and highlighted the fact that 2017’s capacity additions were nevertheless a 40% growth over 2015’s total.

SEIA President and CEO Abigail Ross Hopper said that “The solar industry delivered impressively last year despite a trade case and market adjustments. Especially encouraging is the increasing geographic diversity in states deploying solar, from the Southeast to the Midwest, that led to a double-digit increase in total capacity.”

Looking forward, GTM and SEIA predict that the US solar market will continue to see growth, though it will take until 2023 to reach the astonishing record levels we saw in 2016.

Source :

Posted By : Rabi Wangkhem on Mon, 19 Mar 2018
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