Washington, DC, and Houston, TX — The U.S. residential solar market reached record highs in the third quarter of 2019 with 712 megawatts of solar installed, according to the latest U.S. Solar Market Insight report from Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).
The U.S. solar market added 2.6 gigawatts of solar photovoltaics in the third quarter, swelling total U.S. solar capacity to 71.3 gigawatts.
The increase in residential installations helped the U.S. solar market grow 45% year-over-year and contributed to 15 states having their best quarter ever for residential solar. States with smaller solar markets such as Idaho, Wyoming, New Mexico, and Iowa all saw record residential growth due to continued price declines and improvements to the economic competitiveness of solar across the country.
“This positive report makes clear that American families are demanding energy choice and solar, and that our industry is ready to deliver,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, president, and CEO of SEIA. “This is the kind of growth and investment we could see going forward if we make smart policy moves, like extending the solar Investment Tax Credit and stopping additional tariffs. Failure to make these policy moves will limit deployment potential and cost jobs.”
California continues to be the largest residential solar market, installing nearly 300 megawatts in the third quarter of 2019, breaking its own quarterly record.
“While California has always led the country in solar deployment, the drivers behind that growth have shifted,” said Austin Perea, senior solar analyst for Wood Mackenzie. “This is primarily due to new-build solar demand and increased consumer interest in solar + storage solutions as a result of public safety power shutoffs that have left hundreds of thousands of utility customers in the dark.”
According to the report, power shutoffs in California and national coverage of these issues has renewed demand for solar + storage solutions in California and other states across the country.
Wood Mackenzie is forecasting that the total amount of solar installed in the U.S. in 2019 will reach 13 gigawatts, representing 23% annual growth.