Skip to main content

Solar Prices Increase Across Every Market Segment for the First Time in Seven Years

Supply chain woes and policy uncertainty threaten America’s solar progress.

Tuesday, Sep 14 2021

Share
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. and HOUSTON, TX —Supply chain constraints are leading to price increases across every solar market segment, despite the addition of 5.7 gigawatts (GWdc) of solar capacity in Q2 2021, according to the U.S. Solar Market Insight report released today by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and Wood Mackenzie, a Verisk business (Nasdaq: VRSK).

This is the first time that solar prices have increased quarter-over-quarter and year-over-year in every market segment since Wood Mackenzie began modeling system price data in 2014. Prices increased the most for the utility-scale segment at about 6% year-over-year. Many solar developers have sufficient inventory for 2021 projects but will begin to see price increases in 2022, the report says.

“This is a critical moment for our climate future but price increases, supply chain disruptions and a series of trade risks are threatening our ability to decarbonize the electric grid,” said SEIA president and CEO Abigail Ross Hopper. “If we want to incentivize domestic manufacturing and drive enough solar deployment to tackle the climate crisis, we must see action from our federal leaders.”

In addition to recent enforcement actions on Xinjiang metallurgical grade silicon, two new tariff petitions have been filed. Taken together, these actions could significantly exacerbate supply chain constraints and increase solar system prices.

Despite these near-term headwinds, the solar industry accounted for 56% of all new U.S. electric capacity additions in the first half of 2021. The U.S. officially surpassed 3 million solar installations in Q2, driven by a strong recovery in the residential sector after it was hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The solar industry continues to demonstrate strong quarterly growth, and demand is high across every segment,” said Michelle Davis, principal analyst at Wood Mackenzie and lead author of the report. “But the industry is now bumping up against multiple challenges, from elevated equipment prices to complex interconnection processes. Addressing these challenges will be critical to expanding the industry’s growth and meeting clean energy targets.”

New forecasts from Wood Mackenzie show that the U.S. will average just over 29 GW of new annual solar capacity additions through 2026. But this is far short of the deployment pace needed to reach President Biden’s 2035 clean energy targets. To reach these targets the solar industry must install more than 80 GW of solar annually from 2022 through 2035.

The solar industry will continue to set annual installation records until the solar Investment Tax Credit fully phases down in 2024. Industry growth is expected to flatline in 2025 and 2026. These forecasts do not account for additional trade actions, which represent a substantial downside risk to Wood Mackenzie’s outlooks.

Key Figures:

  • With Q2 additions, the United States officially surpassed 3 million installations across all market segments, the vast majority of which are residential systems.
  • Residential solar was up 2% over Q1 2021, but up 46% from Q2 2020 when installations were hit hardest by the Covid-19 pandemic. With 974 MWdc installed, volumes were on par with Q4 2020.
  • Community solar was up 16% over Q2 2020 with 177 MWdc installed, and commercial solar was up 31% over the same quarter last year with 354 MWdc installed.
  • Utility-scale solar set another record for second-quarter installations at 4.2 GWdc. Texas, Arizona, and Florida accounted for nearly 3 GW of the quarterly total.
  • A total of 9.3 GWdc of new utility-scale solar power purchase agreements were signed in Q2 2021, bringing the utility-scale contracted pipeline to nearly 85 GWdc.

Learn more at seia.org/smi.

###

About SEIA®: 

The Solar Energy Industries Association® (SEIA) is leading the transformation to a clean energy economy, creating the framework for solar to achieve 20% of U.S. electricity generation by 2030. SEIA works with its 1,000 member companies and other strategic partners to fight for policies that create jobs in every community and shape fair market rules that promote competition and the growth of reliable, low-cost solar power. Founded in 1974, SEIA is a national trade association building a comprehensive vision for the Solar+ Decade through research, education and advocacy. Visit SEIA online at www.seia.org and follow @SEIA on Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram

About Wood Mackenzie:

Wood Mackenzie, a Verisk Analytics business, is a trusted source of commercial intelligence for the world's natural resources sector. We empower clients to make better strategic decisions, providing objective analysis and advice on assets, companies and markets. For more information, visit: www.woodmac.com or follow us on Twitter @WoodMackenzie

WOOD MACKENZIE is a trademark of Wood Mackenzie Limited and is the subject of trademark registrations and/or applications in the European Community, the USA and other countries around the world.

About Verisk

Verisk (Nasdaq:VRSK) provides predictive analytics and decision support solutions to customers in the insurance, energy and specialized markets, and financial services industries. More than 70 percent of the FORTUNE 100 relies on the company’s advanced technologies to manage risks, make better decisions and improve operating efficiency. The company’s analytic solutions address insurance underwriting and claims, fraud, regulatory compliance, natural resources, catastrophes, economic forecasting, geopolitical risks, as well as environmental, social and governance (ESG) matters. Celebrating its 50th anniversary, the company continues to make the world better, safer and stronger, and fosters an inclusive and diverse culture where all team members feel they belong. With more than 100 offices in nearly 35 countries, Verisk consistently earns certification by Great Place to Work.

For more: Verisk.com, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

Media Contact: 

Morgan Lyons, SEIA's Senior Communications Manager, mlyons@seia.org (202) 556-2872

Jen Bristol, SEIA's Director of Communications, jbristol@seia.org (202) 556-2886

Anthea Pitt, Wood Mackenzie, anthea.pitt@woodmac.com, +44 781 607 4461

Related News

Tuesday, Sep 14, 2021

Solar Prices Increase Across Every Market Segment for the First Time in Seven Years

WASHINGTON, D.C. and HOUSTON, TX —Supply chain constraints are leading to price increases across every solar market segment, despite the addition of 5.7 gigawatts (GWdc) of solar capacity in Q2 2021, according to the U.S. Solar Market Insight report released today by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and Wood Mackenzie, a Verisk business (Nasdaq: VRSK).

Read More
Tuesday, Jun 15, 2021

U.S. Solar Market Eclipses 100 Gigawatts

WASHINGTON, D.C. and HOUSTON, TX — The U.S. solar market surpassed 100 gigawatts (GWdc) of installed electric generating capacity, doubling the size of the industry over the last 3.5 years, according to the U.S. Solar Market Insight Q2 2021 report, released today by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and Wood Mackenzie.

Read More
Tuesday, Mar 16, 2021

Solar Industry Sets Records in 2020, On Track to Quadruple by 2030

WASHINGTON, D.C. and HOUSTON, TX — The U.S. solar industry grew 43% and installed a record 19.2 gigawatts (GWdc) of capacity in 2020, according to the U.S. Solar Market Insight 2020 Year-in-Review report, released today by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and Wood Mackenzie.

Read More