This month, we also released our latest U.S. Solar Market Insight in partnership with the Solar Energy Industries Association. The findings were less sunny.
New additions of residential PV remained flat quarter-over-quarter and year-over-year in Q1 2018, following a 15 percent contraction in 2017.
“This is a promising indicator that constraints to residential PV growth like segment-wide customer acquisition challenges and national installer pullback are abating,” Senior Analyst Austin Perea said. “However, these problems are not entirely solved, as we’re seeing slowdowns in states with a relatively high penetration of PV installations.”
The report notes that three of the top five residential solar markets in 2017 — Maryland, New Jersey, and New York — are expected to contract in 2018 for a second consecutive year as a function of the persistent customer-acquisition challenges. “The decline in some major state markets will be offset by growth in emerging markets,” Perea said.
We anticipate the U.S. market in aggregate will be flat this year. The U.S. market can again expect to see growth exceeding 10 percent in the early 2020s, driven in part by California’s recently announced policy requiring solar on all new homes.
FIGURE: California Residential PV Forecast - Retrofit vs. New Home Solar
Source: Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables