U.S. residential market experiences a downturn, solar power installations nonetheless, depict a modest upswing

The U.S. solar industry recently witnessed a high when the second quarter of 2017 depicted a rise of 8% in solar installations. The surge may be possibly attributed to the increasing solar demand across the utility sector, given that the demand for residential rooftop systems experienced an unexpected pullout.

The growth observed in Q2 2017 is anticipated to be short-term, as the solar energy market share from residential PV applications is forecast to depict a downturn of close to 17% for 2017, on account of reduced demand from the residential domain when compared with the year 2016. The utility sector, it is reported, is on the verge of regulating its project pipeline, on the grounds of which it has been forecast that the industry growth will resume in 2019 with renewed gusto.

For the record, solar module costs increased up to 39 cents per watt between Q2 2017 from 37 cents per watt in Q1 2017 – this has been the first time module prices depicted a surge since 2014. An installation of 2.39 GW of photovoltaic solar power, from 2.2 GW in 2016, has been recorded across the residential PV sector, as stated by the GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association.

One of the principal reasons the residential solar industry fell from last year is the fact that the lucrative markets across the Northeast U.S.A. exhibited an astounding downturn. Major corporate installers along the likes of Tesla’s SolarCity have slowed down considerably to shift their focus on more profitable ventures - a move that has led to a sharp fall in product demand across established regions. As per estimates, installation volumes dropped between 15% to 60% in New York, Maryland, and Massachusetts.

The non-residential market, as per statistics, has increased by more than 30% up to 437 MW, on the grounds of community solar projects in operation across Massachusetts, California, and Minnesota. In fact, in California and Massachusetts, solar panel developers expeditiously rushed to finish up on the projects under the jurisdiction of solar incentive programs.

For the record, residential PV system costs depicted a modest fall during Q2 2017, subject to the fact that manufacturers rushed to procure panel supplies prior to the enforcement of new tariffs on imports. It has also been reported that the U.S. International Trade Commission may rule on a trade petition by Suniva – now, infamously renowned as a bankrupt solar equipment manufacturer, that has apparently been seeking tariffs on overseas solar panels.

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Saipriya Iyer

Saipriya Iyer develops content for Market Size Forecasters. A computer engineer by profession, she ventured into the field of writing for the love of playing with words. Having had a previous experience of 3 years under her belt, she has dabbled with website content writing, content auditing, tech w...

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