Tesla’s Solar Roof fails to meet deployment targets with 3,000 installed to date

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Tesla’s Solar Roof, which in 2021 CEO Elon Musk said had involved ‘serious mistakes’. Image: Tesla.

Tesla’s Solar Roof technology has fallen short of the company’s deployment targets by some distance, according to a new report from energy analysts Wood Mackenzie.

Approximately 3,000 Solar Roofs have been installed across the US since the product’s launch in 2016, Woodmac estimated, adding up to a combined capacity of almost 30MWdc. Tesla stated a target of 1,000 Solar Roofs produced weekly in 2019, and added a further target to install 1,000 systems per week in early 2020.

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WoodMac’s analysis showed that just 21 Solar Roofs were installed per week in 2022, with the peak coming in Q1, which saw an average of 32 systems installed every seven days.

“Wood Mackenzie’s distributed solar practice has utilized its proprietary project-level datasets to aggregate installation totals for the Solar Roof for the first time. The analysis shows that Tesla has missed stated growth expectations,” said Max Issokson, research analyst and lead author of the report.

It’s unsurprising that California has been overwhelmingly the largest installer of Tesla’s Solar Roofs, as the state is a residential solar and renewable energy hotbed in the US. Nonetheless, the numbers remain small in the context of the national market. Almost 10MW worth of Solar Roofs were installed in California in 2022, with the rest of the US market adding just a further 2MW.

Despite the portion of product deployments that California accounted for, Tesla’s share in the state residential rooftop solar market peaked at just over 0.6% in 2021. Nationally, WoodMac said that over 5 million rooves are built a year, and the Solar Roof held a less than 0.3% market share.

The US residential rooftop solar market is set to boom in the coming years, according to a report from PV software provider Aurora Solar. The stimuli provided by the Inflation Reduction Act is combining with consumer desire for independence and flexibility in the face of rising energy prices to drive rooftop solar adoption. Tesla and other companies offering similar products may be poised to take advantage of that and expand their presence across the US.

Issokson said: “As the residential solar industry continues to grow, solar roofing solutions will play an important role in offering customers flexibility and alternatives to conventional modules. The future potential of Tesla’s Solar Roof will rely on the company’s ability to simplify and streamline installations and tap into a broader customer base.”

2022 saw Tesla install its highest capacity of rooftop solar since 2017.

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