US Residential and Utility-Scale Solar Markets See Installations Fall for the First Time

The problem with experiencing a year of explosive market growth is that it can make subsequent years look soft — which is part of what happened to the market in 2017.

A cumulative 10.6 gigawatts of solar photovoltaics were installed across the U.S. in 2017, according to the newly released U.S. Solar Market Insight Report 2017 Year in Review from GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). That’s way down from the 15 gigawatts installed in the record-breaking 2016, but it still represents 40 percent growth over the installation total in 2015.

The story doesn’t end there, though. 2017 wasn’t just a year of tempered growth for the U.S. solar industry — it also exposed weaknesses in certain market segments and specific locations, and marked successes in others. Most notably, the residential and utility-scale segments both saw installations fall on an annual basis for the first time since GTM Research and SEIA began publishing the Solar Market Insight report in 2010.

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