Every quarter, GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) analyze industry data to provide a view of the photovoltaic market. The newest report reveals that the second quarter of 2017 was the second-largest ever, with an 8 percent year-over-year increase in installed capacity.
What’s more, researchers expect this impressive market growth to continue. The PV industry is picking up speed.
Impressive Growth in Utility-Scale and Commercial Solar PV
In Q2 2017, a whopping 2,387 megawatts (MW) of new U.S. photovoltaic capacity was installed. Utility-scale PV energy continued to lead the way, representing 58 percent of the photovoltaic capacity installed. And in fact, this quarter marked the seventh straight quarter that utility-scale solar accounted for more than 2 gigawatts (GW) of new capacity.
With 437 MW installed, nonresidential or commercial solar PV adoption also achieved incredible Q2 2017 growth. This represents a 31 percent increase over the same quarter last year.
Residential Solar PV Energy Sees Quarter-Over-Quarter Growth
The residential photovoltaic sector grew, but only by about 1 percent quarter over quarter.
Slower growth for home solar PV is mainly due to national installers scaling back operations in order to maximize profitability. In the major state markets, this has resulted in customer acquisition challenges, and growth in the emerging state markets has not yet made up for the difference.
What Does the Future of Solar PV Look Like?
Researchers predict that over 12 GW of new photovoltaic installations will be operational by the end of 2017. And over the next five years, total U.S. solar capacity is expected to triple. Once 2022 arrives, 31 states will have annual PV installations of at least 100 MW, and more than 16 GW will be added each year.
That said, the outlook for the U.S. photovoltaic industry could change if trade relief is implemented. If approved by the International Trade Commission, PV installations across all three market sectors — utility-scale, residential and commercial solar — are likely to see a significant drop.
If you’re thinking about investing in a residential or commercial PV system, now’s the time to act. Many state and local financial incentives for photovoltaic installation are being eliminated, and you’ll need to complete your installation before the end of 2019 in order to claim the full 30 percent federal investment tax credit. If you wait too long, you’ll probably end up paying more.
Ready to explore your options? The professional contractors at Intermountain Wind & Solar, one of the largest and most trusted photovoltaic providers in the Intermountain West, can answer all your questions and offer expert advice on PV installation.
Intermountain Wind & Solar offers complimentary, hassle-free consultations to homeowners and businesses throughout Idaho, Utah, Colorado, Wyoming and Nevada. To discuss solar PV energy for your home or business, contact us today.