Residential US solar market increased while commercial solar installations fell

Solar accounted for 54 percent of all new electricity-generating capacity added in the United States in the first three quarters of 2021. According to an update of the report »US Solar Market Insight« released by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and consultancy Wood Mackenzie, residential solar installations exceeded 1 GW and 130,000 systems in a single quarter for the first time. »Residential solar companies have fared better in the face of recent price increases, but tight module supply may impact future installations.«
Commercial and community solar fell 10 percent and 21 percent quarter-over-quarter, respectively. »Major markets for these segments continue to experience interconnection and equipment delays.« Installed costs increased across all market segments for the second quarter in a row, reflecting supply chain challenges. In every segment besides residential, year-over-year price increases were at the highest they’ve been since 2014 when Wood Mackenzie began tracking pricing data.
Rising prices are impacting the utility-scale solar market the most. Prices in this segment dropped by 12 percent between Q1 2019 and Q1 2021, but spikes in the last six months have erased all price declines from this two-year period. Due to supply chain constraints and logistics challenges, Wood Mackenzie has lowered its 2022 solar forecast by 25 percent, a decrease of 7.4 GW.
SEIA expects that the US President Joe Bidens's »Build Back Better Act« – if passed – will stimulate solar market growth and boost PV intallations by 31 percent through 2026, despite solar prices continue to rise. If enacted, the United States is projected to install 43.5 GW of additional solar capacity over the baseline forecast between 2022 and 2026. This would bring cumulative solar capacity in the United States to over 300 GW, which is triple the amount of solar deployed today.
»The forecasts are clear,« said SEIA president and CEO Abigail Ross Hopper: »We must pass the Build Back Better Act to create quality American jobs, drive transformative solar and storage growth, and overcome supply chain bottlenecks.« If it becomes law, 14 states »will see at least a one-gigawatt boost in solar deployment in the next five years, and 14 more will see at least a 500 megawatt boost«.
The Build Back Better Act passed the House of Representatives in November. According to latest media announcements, Democrats are unlikely to pass the »Build Back Better Act« in the Senate this year and the decision could be shifted into 2022.

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