A Sunrun installer at a customer’s home in Carlsbad. (Collin Chappelle for The New York Times)

Sunrun maintained its title as the top installer in the U.S. residential solar market for the fifth year running in 2021, although its market share declined for the second consecutive year, contracting to 13% by almost a point since 2020, Wood Mackenzie said.

Other players, however, are experiencing significant growth such as California-based Freedom Forever, which grew its installation volumes by 80% in 2021 and captured 3.9% of the market, overtaking Tesla as the number three installer.

The analyst firm expects Tesla to keep moving down installer rankings over the next quarters as the company shifts its business model towards a full-suite technology supplier and gets more dependent on subcontractors for solar installations, said Wood Mackenzie research associate Caitlin Connelly.

Overall, the U.S. residential solar market expanded by almost 30% year-on-year to a record 4.2 GW in 2021, even as installers faced a number of headwinds, including supply chain difficulties, rising system prices and Omicron-related labour shortfalls.

Titan Solar Power, the second-largest installer in 2021 with 4.8% of the market, grew its installation volumes and market share last year, but slower than in previous years.

The business models of both Titan and Freedom Forever rely exclusively on third-party sales companies.

SunPower, which in 2021 acquired Blue Raven, rounds up the top five with a combined 2.7% share of the market, followed by Momentum Solar and Trinity Solar Power.

Wood Mackenzie said the residential finance market is also consolidating, with the top five players accounting for over 70% of the market in 2021, up from 60% in 2020.

GoodLeap remained the top financier and loan provider with a 26% share of the total market.

Report summarized by Renewables Now, and published here via partnership.

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