US utility-scale solar installs dipped below 1GW in Q3 2018, according to the latest WoodMackenzie US Solar Market Insight Report.
It is the first time the quarterly install figure fell below 1GW since 2015. Despite the drop, a bumper Q4 will mean that 2018 growth will remain flat.
The impact of the Section 201 trade tariffs on global solar module imports is blamed for the drop.
“Developers originally planning to bring projects online in Q3 2018 were forced to push out completion dates to Q4 2018 or Q1 2019 due to uncertainty around tariffs,” said Colin Smith, senior analyst at Wood Mackenzie. “We did, however, see utility PV procurement outpace installations fourfold in Q3, showing that despite the tariffs causing project delays, there is substantial growth ahead for the US utility PV sector.”
Q4 is forecast to see utility installs rebound to 3.5GW. WoodMac has set its 2018 forecast for the US, across all scales, at 11.1GW.
Residential solar continued to arrest the slide it experienced in 2017, which saw the market shrink by 15%. Growth was flat year-on-year and quarter-on-quarter.
WoodMac picked Florida and Nevada as two encouraging residential markets and highlighted New York’s best-ever quarter for commercial rooftop deployment.
“If not for the tariffs, the US solar market would undoubtedly look better today than it does now,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, SEIA’s president and CEO. “However, as this report shows, this is a resilient industry that cannot be kept down for long. With smart policies in place, the potential for the solar industry is hard to overstate.”
Understand fully the technical and logistical supply chains that determine the production and performance of solar modules, including all related factors impacting quality, reliability & bankability.
Now in its sixth successful year, Solar & Storage Finance USA is the only event which looks at raising capital for solar, storage and collocated solar and storage projects in the USA. The conference will help delegates understand how providers are evolving propositions for storage and how they can access capital for standalone solar or storage, and co-located projects. Meet debt providers, funders, utilities, corporate off takers and blue chip energy firms with capital to invest and developers with credible pipelines.