U.S. solar industry expects 23 percent decline in 2022

The »U.S. Solar Market Insight« report, produced periodically by the U.S. Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and consulting firm Wood Mackenzie, shows new photovoltaic installations totaling 4.6 gigawatts (GW) in the third quarter of this year. This is a 17 percent decrease from the same period last year. While the forecast for the full year was raised slightly from the previous edition of the report, the 18.6 GW now expected still represents a 23 percent year-over-year deficit.
The report cites supply shortages, exacerbated by trade restrictions, as the main reason for the decline. The importation limits imposed under the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act on goods produced using forced labor in China, especially the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, is negatively impacting near-term forecasts of new installations and delaying the effect of the Inflation Reduction Act, according to the report. The recent decision by the Department of Commerce on »circumvention tariffs« against solar imports from Southeast Asia poses a risk to future development.
The slump in the third quarter is hitting mid-sized plants and especially large solar power plants. In contrast, the residential market segment actually set a new record with 1.57 GW of newly installed capacity, 43 percent more than in the same quarter last year and 16 percent more than in Q2 2022. For commercially operated plants, 340 megawatts (MW) correspond to an increase of only three percent year on year and a decrease of ten percent compared to the second quarter; for plants in the »community solar« segment, 212 MW correspond to a decrease of 17 percent compared to both comparable quarters. In the most important segment in terms of volume, utility-scale power plants, new installations totaled 2.5 GW in the period under review, representing a year-on-year decrease of 36 percent and a decline of nine percent compared with the second quarter.

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