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Solar Market Insight Report 2017 Q3


In Q2 2017, the U.S. solar market installed 2,387 megawatts direct current (MWdc), which ranks as the largest second quarter ever for U.S. solar. Utility PV accounted for 58% of Q2 2017 installations, which marks the seventh consecutive quarter that the utility-scale space added more than 1 GWdc.

Key Takeaways:
  • In Q2 2017, the U.S. market installed 2,387 MWdc of solar PV, an 8% increase year-over-year and the largest second quarter ever.
  • Through the first half of 2017, 22% of all new electric generating capacity brought online in the U.S. has come from solar, ranking second over that time-period to natural gas.
  • Suniva’s filing of a Section 201 petition to impose trade remedies on foreign-manufactured cells and modules threatens to significantly reduce PV installations across all segments if accepted in its current form.
  • The residential PV sector grew 1% quarter over quarter. The slow growth rate is caused by relative weakness in the California market and a slowdown in Northeast markets, which are feeling the impact of pull-back from national providers.
  • In contrast to residential PV, the non-residential sector grew 31% year-over-year, primarily driven by regulatory demand pull-in from policy deadlines in California and Massachusetts.
  • Voluntary procurement has emerged as the primary driver of new utility PV procurement, accounting for 59% of new procurement through H1 2017.
  • Installed system prices remain low across all market segments, with fixed-tilt utility-scale systems remaining under the $1/watt barrier for the second consecutive quarter.
  • GTM Research forecasts that 12.4 GWdc of new PV installations will come on-line in 2017, down 17% from a record-breaking 2016.
  • Total installed U.S. solar PV capacity is expected to nearly triple over the next five years. By 2022, over 16 GW of solar PV capacity will be installed annually.