US Solar Power Installations Decline 17% YoY In Q3/2022

SEIA & Wood Mackenzie Count US To Have Added 4.6 GW DC New Solar In Q3; Forecasts 23% Annual Decline in 2022 Citing Trade Barriers & Supply Chain Constraints

US Solar Power Installations Decline 17% YoY In Q3/2022

Continuing trade related challenges, UFLPA, and supply chain constraints will hamper annual solar installations in the US, according to the US Solar Market Insight Q4 2022. (Source: SEIA/Wood Mackenzie)

  • The US solar market installed 4.6 GW DC new capacity in Q3/2022 reflecting an annual decline of 17%, as per SEIA and Wood Mackenzie
  • It comprises 2.5 GW DC utility scale solar that’s expected to add up to a total of 10.3 GW DC in 2022
  • Residential solar added 1.57 GW DC led mostly by California, and commercial solar installed 340 MW DC
  • In 2022, they forecast up to 18.6 GW DC total deployment, down from 23.6 GW DC in 2021 thanks to trade barriers and ongoing supply chain issues
  • From 2024, when supply chain constraints ease and IRA impacts kick in annual installations can be expected to range between 30 GW DC to 40 GW DC

Trade barriers and ongoing supply chain constraints pulled down new solar installations in the US by 17% YoY to 4.6 GW DC in Q3/2022, and are expected to lead to a 23% annual decline in 2022 with the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) limiting solar deployment through 2023, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and Wood Mackenzie.

Project delays and continued supply chain constraints led to 2.5 GW DC utility scale solar capacity deployment with a 36% annual drop and 9% sequential decline. In 9M/2022, it added 7.4 GW DC. According to the report, another 2.8 GW DC can be expected in Q4/2022 taking the annual total to 10.3 GW DC.

Enforcement of UFLPA is also leading to module detentions and time-consuming paperwork, as per the US Solar Market Insight Q4 2022 report (see North America PV News Snippets).

“America’s clean energy economy hindered by its own trade actions,” said SEIA president and CEO Abigail Ross Hopper. “The solar and storage industry is acting decisively to build an ethical supply chain, but unnecessary supply bottlenecks and trade restrictions are preventing manufacturers from getting the equipment they need to invest in U.S. facilities.

The utility scale segment is anticipated to add 150 GW DC capacity between 2022 and 2027; the country has 30 GW DC under construction while the total pipeline at the end of Q3/2022 stood at 90 GW DC. Impacts of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) will kick in from 2024, as per the report analysis.

Residential PV segment installations went up 43% YoY and 16% QoQ to 1.57 GW DC making it a ‘historic’ quarter. California contributed 36% of this as installers rush to capture sales before the new net metering policy can become effective.

As for commercial solar, deployments were up 3% YoY and 10% down QoQ representing a total of 340 MW DC, comprising 212 MW DC community solar capacity that also declined.

Analysts expect 2022 installations to add up to 18.6 GW DC, reflecting a slight increase from their previous outlook but a 23% annual drop from 23.6 GW DC in 2021 (see US Installed 23.6 GW DC Solar In 2021).

Going forward, the analysts expect better times ahead once supply chain relief arrives because that’s when the true impacts of the IRA will manifest in the outlooks. “Beginning in 2024, annual installations of solar will consistently reach 30-40 GW DC,” as per the report.

Nonetheless, the US Department of Commerce (DOC) issuing a preliminary affirmative ruling in the anti-circumvention case presents a ‘downside risk’ to its outlook, it added (see US Finds Chinese Companies Dodging Circumvention Tariffs).

The US Solar Market Insight Q4 2022 report can be purchased on Wood Mackenzie’s website for $7,000.

About The Author

Anu Bhambhani

SENIOR NEWS EDITOR Anu is our solar news whirlwind. At TaiyangNews, she covers everything that is of importance in the world of solar power. In the past 9 years that she has been associated with TaiyangNews, she has covered over thousands of stories, and analysis pieces on markets, technology, financials, and more on a daily basis. She also hosts TaiyangNews Conferences and Webinars. Prior to joining TaiyangNews, Anu reported on sustainability, management, and education for leading print dailies in India. [email protected]

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