US solar market set for flat growth in 2018

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Share on email
Email
Source: First Solar.

The US will see 10.9GW of solar installed in 2018, according to new research from Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables.

The firm, formerly GTM Research, released its latest US Solar Market Insight Report which has noted the procurement of 8.5GW of utility solar in the first half of 2018. While Q2 has seen deployment fall 9% compared to the same period last year, there is some space for optimism. The residential sector has levelled out after a sustained period of contraction while procurement levels have spiked as component prices fall, offering developers and EPCs some respite.

The report notes that, barring the residential sector, system costs are at their lowest ever. Module costs, even with the 30% tariff, are at their second lowest price point ever.

“Once lower-than-expected module tariffs were announced in January 2018, developers and utilities began announcing new projects,” Wood Mackenzie senior analyst Colin Smith writes in the report.

“As we move toward 2019, we expect to see continued procurement growth as developers look to secure projects they can bring online before the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) steps down to 10% in 2022.”

As a result, the firm has added another 1.9GW to its five-year installation forecast.

“The data shows us that the tariffs have dampened solar’s growth, as previously announced projects were cancelled or delayed due to the tariffs,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, SEIA’s president and CEO. “Yet, this report also reveals that the solar industry is simply too strong to be kept down. Procurement numbers show that solar is poised for substantial growth.”

Source: Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables.

The fall in prices is somewhat easing a tumultuous period for EPCs and developers in the US. In the most recent edition of PV Tech Power, we heard how it has not been easy to capitalise on these module price decreases because so many US projects are working to fluid, shifting timelines. The drop in prices is also making some review what module technology they buy.

“We can now get high-efficiency modules for what we might have paid for low-efficiency,” said George Hershman, general manager for renewable energy at Swinerton . “Everybody is looking at higher efficiency modules because we are seeing the delta between poly and mono, or mono PERC, closing.” 

Read Next

June 18, 2021
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) this week presented a draft order aimed at establishing a joint Federal-State task force on electric transmission
June 16, 2021
The latest episode of the Solar Media Podcast, sponsored by Honeywell, is now available to stream as we discuss the rise of new solar technologies and the drivers behind the n-type revolution.
June 15, 2021
The US installed more than 5GWdc of solar capacity in Q1 2021, taking its cumulative capacity past the 100GW barrier, but supply chain constraints could pose a major barrier to further growth.
June 15, 2021
The confidence of renewable energy investors and developers stands at an “all-time high”, a new report by the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) claims, however investment must surge in the coming years if the US is to meet decarbonisation goals.
May 27, 2021
US trade body the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) has started a new advocacy programme for the fast-growing energy storage sector.
May 25, 2021
Aurora Solar, a US-based company that has developed software to enable the remote design and sale of PV systems, has closed a US$250 million series C funding round.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
July 6, 2021
Solar Media Events
August 24, 2021
Solar Media Events, Upcoming Webinars
October 6, 2021