The U.S. solar panel market size was estimated at USD 12.67 billion in 2017 and is expected to grow further during the forecast period. Over the past few years, the market has gained much traction, owing to demand for renewable energy over fuel or electricity consumption.
U.S. solar panel market revenue split, by product type, 2017 (% share)
The residential sector witnessed tepid growth in terms of installation due to discrepancies in sales strategies such as high cost of installation and maintenance. Be that as it may, increasing development activities in Florida, Utah, South California, and Texas are anticipated to drive the segment over the forecast period.
Moreover, significant drop in installation costs has aided the growth of the U.S. solar panel industry. Since 2010, the cost has dropped by aproximately 70%, thereby resulting in market expansion and increased deployment. The cumulative competitiveness has resulted in increased share of solar technology in U.S. electric generation and is expected to continously rise over the forecast period.
Furthermore, government policies and reforms for promotion of renewable energy is fueling the U.S. solar panel industry. For instance, the Investment Tax Credit (ITC), also known as federal solar tax credit, allows 30% deduction of installation cost from a person’s or business’ federal tax, thus promoting adpotion of this source of power and driving market growth. Since the commencement of ITC, installation has observed expansion at a CAGR of about 76% over the past decade. ITC also boosts long-term investment and technological innovations, which in turn, benefit consumers.
California holds the largest share in the U.S. solar panel market. However, there is a continuous expansion of market in regions states like Florida, Texas, Utah, and Minnesota. Falling prices have further attracted new entrants in the market, thereby spurring the growth of the market.
Segmentation by product type
• Solar Tracking Panel
• Fixed Rack Panel
Increasing demand for environment-friendly alternatives to fuel and electricity is driving the market. Rising need for efficient utilization of sun energy is further expected to drive demand for solar tracking systems as they enhance efficiency by around 40%. However, trackers require additional investment in comparison to fixed systems. Thus, they are considered economical only for large-scale installations where maintenance cost can be covered.
Fixed rack panel is the dominant segment owing to reduced installation, operational, and maintenance costs. These are best suited for space-constrained areas and are gaining popularity over the past few years. Furthermore, increasing environmental awareness and technological innovations to suit rugged terrains and weather are attracting customers to opt for this type of renewable energy. This is expected to drive the over the forecast period.
Segmentation by end use
Industrial is the dominant application segment due to significant rise in adoption by corporate giants such as Walmart, Target, and Apple. Rising environmental awareness and reduced installation costs are attracting corporate investments in the market. For instance, in October 2016, nearly 25 top corporates installed facilities of approximately 1,100 MW capacities across America. Corporate companies are actively working towards reducing their carbon footprint. Thus, they are opting for renewable energy sources like sun’s energy for their energy needs. This factor is expected to drive the U.S. solar panel market in near future.
There are numerous players involved in manufacturing and distribution in U.S., such as JinkoSolar, Canadian Solar, Suniva, and SolarWorld. Trina Solar is the leading manufacturer, followed by JinkoSolar. Sunrun and Vivid Solar are the biggest installation establishments in U.S. In 2017, new players like JA Solar emerged in photovoltaic (PV) manufacturing, gaining a significant market share.
Research Support Specialist, USA