US Solar Market Deployed 2.3 GW PV In Q2/2018

United States Installed 2.3 GW Solar Power Capacity In Q2/2018, According To Wood Mackenzie & SEIA; Flat Growth Shows Lower Module Prices Didn’t Work For Market
06:04 AM (Beijing Time) - 14. September 2018
SEia Q2 2018 report 1

By the end of 2020, Wood Mackenzie & SEIA expect 28 US states to add at least 100 MW of solar annually, with 25 states exceeding the 1 GW threshold. In 2018, they forecast 10.9 GW of total capacity, and by 2023, it will grow to 14 GW of annual additions. (Source: Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables)

Key Takeaways

  • US solar PV market reported 2.3 GW of total additions, according to Q2/2018 report of Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables (previously GTM Research) and SEIA
  • This is even less than last quarter’s 2.5 GW
  • The decline in module prices was almost nullified by solar tariffs imposed on imported solar cells and modules earlier in 2018
  • Utility scale PV led deployments; residential solar added 577 MW, which means stagnation QoQ and YoY
  • Things are looking up for H2/2018 as 8.5 GW of utility scale PV capacity procurement during first half has been already registered
  • With most utility scale solar procured set to come online in 2020, the report forecasts 10.9 GW of new PV installations for 2018


The utility scale PV segment helped the US solar market deploy 2.3 GW in Q2/2018, even though total deployments decreased 9% YoY and 7% QoQ. In Q1/2018, 2.5 GW was added, reflecting a 13% increase over Q1/2017. The Q2/2018 US Solar Market Insight report by Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables (previously GTM Research) and the US Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) said the results in this quarter manifest the effect of tariffs imposed by Trump administration on imported solar cells and modules in January 2018 (see Trump Slaps 30% Tariff On Imported Cells & Modules).

Because of the tariffs, some developers pushed their projects to a later date or completely cancelled them. Drop in component prices helped procurement of large scale solar that soared to 8.5 GW of utility PV in the first six months of 2018, the most ever procured in this timeframe, as per the report.

“Once lower-than-expected module tariffs were announced in January 2018, developers and utilities began announcing new projects,” Wood Mackenzie Senior Analyst Colin Smith writes in the report. “As we move toward 2019, we expect to see continued procurement growth as developers look to secure projects they can bring online before the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) steps down to 10% in 2022.”

The residential PV segment, led by Florida and Nevada, installed 577 MW, which means stagnation compared to the last quarter and the previous year. The authors of the report point out that this market stabilization is a promising sign that could mean customer acquisition challenges may be subsiding. Community solar is another segment that has grown consistently. In H1/2018, more than 300 MW was installed.

The report shows a utility PV pipeline of 23,948 MW, out of which 4,276 MW is under construction. Another 36.1 GW pipeline has been announced (see graph below).

SEia Q2 2018 report 2

Overall, PV accounted for 29% of all new electricity generating capacity that came online in the US in H1/2018. As most utility scale solar currently procured is set to come online in 2020, the report forecasts 10.9 GW of new PV installations for 2018, almost at the same level as last year (see US Adds Only 10.6 GW In 2017). The 2020 period is expected to see 28 US states add at least 100 MW of PV annually, and 25 states are supposed to have over 1 GW. That compares to only 2 states that crossed the 1 GW level in 2010. By 2023, more than 14 GW of PV will be installed annually, the report predicts.

The Q2/2018 report is available for purchase on the website of GTM Research, with prices starting from $2,000.

Anu Bhambhani

Anu Bhambhani is the Senior News Editor of TaiyangNews

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Anu Bhambhani