Solar installations down 24 percent year over year in Q1

down arrow job losses

PV price increases, supply chain issues and the anti-dumping circumvention trade case all took their toll on larger-scale U.S. solar installations in the first quarter. The U.S. solar industry had its lowest quarter of installations (3.9 GW) since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the U.S. Solar Market Insight report released by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and Wood Mackenzie — 24% less solar capacity than Q1 2021.

Aurora Solar promotion

Sales and marketing month sponsor

Get Aurora AI & Get Back to Summer

Let Aurora AI do the heavy lifting for you so you can get out of the office and into the pool. See how Aurora can speed up your sales & design with one-click design magic. Learn more here

This dip is just an appetizer of could have been this year. Forecasts for solar installations were dire until the White House’s executive action this week to provide a two-year suspension of any new solar tariffs. This certainty will avoid some of the massive project delays and cancellations that would have continued throughout 2022.

Still, over the last nine months, 2022 forecasts have been cut in half due to continued supply chain challenges and the anti-circumvention inquiry.

“The White House’s executive action brings relief to the US solar industry, which has been steeped in uncertainty regarding the anti-circumvention investigation initiated by the Department of Commerce in late March following a petition filed by Auxin Solar, a domestic module manufacturer,” said Michelle Davis, Wood Mackenzie’s principal analyst. “Despite this, this announcement is expected to create approximately 2-3 GW of upside potential to Wood Mackenzie’s 2022 base case outlook, assuming the global market resumes normal operations.”

SMI-Q2-2022-Charts-Web-01

The utility-scale solar market saw the sharpest decline in Q1 2022 and experienced its lowest quarter of installations since 2019 and the lowest number of new projects added to the pipeline since 2017.

The commercial solar market saw 28% quarter-over-quarter declines, while the community solar market shrank by 59% quarter-over-quarter.

Residential stays the course. Solar still accounted for 50% of all new electricity-generating capacity added in the U.S. in Q1, and the residential solar market continued to roll on with record-setting growth — 30% year over year increase — as customer demand and sales pipelines continue to increase.

Since the case was initiated in March, most solar module manufacturers have halted shipments to the United States, causing an industry-wide module shortage. These supply constraints are expected to ease as manufacturers ramp up shipments to the U.S. in the coming months.

“The solar industry is facing multiple challenges that are slowing America’s clean energy progress, but this week’s action from the Biden administration provides a jolt of certainty businesses need to keep projects moving and create jobs,” said SEIA president and CEO Abigail Ross Hopper. “President Biden has clearly taken notice of how drags on the industry are hampering grid resiliency. By acting decisively, this administration is breathing new life into the clean energy sector, while positioning the U.S. to be a global solar manufacturing leader.”

Have you checked out our YouTube page?

We have a ton video interviews and additional content on our YouTube page. Recently we debuted Power Forward! -- a collaboration with BayWa r.e. to discuss higher level industry topics as well as best practices / trends for running a solar business today.

Our longer running side project is The Pitch -- in which we have awkward discussions with solar manufacturers and suppliers about their new technology and ideas so that you don't have to. We've discusses everything from residential rail-less deck attaching and home solar financing to large-scale energy storage value stacking and utility-driven new home solar + storage microgrids.

We also post our Project of the Year announcements there! Interviews with this year's winners will be up starting the week of Nov. 8. Head there and subscribe today to stay on top of all this extra stuff.

Tags: , ,

Comments are closed here.