US residential demand approaching 1 GW a year

The outlook for the residential segment in the United States remains strong, with policymakers looking to reduce the regulatory burden for new installations and major downstream players focusing on continued installed system cost reduction.

NPD Solarbuzz said on Wednesday that it anticipated the residential segment will pass the 1 GW trailing 12-month (TTM) rate in early 2015; the market research group also predicts strong growth through 2016.

Residential demand in the United States continues to increase as solar PV systems become more attractive across more states. Demand growth is being driven by falling installed system prices as well as downstream business models that are bringing more financing and ownership options to the end-market, NPD Solarbuzz added.

Between the first quarter of 2012 and the fourth quarter of 2014, TTM residential PV demand more than doubled. Solar leasing, solar power purchase agreements (PPAs) and other business models, along with increasing financing options, are making solar more accessible to previously underserved customer segments, the company pointed out.

The residential segment is also experiencing fewer negative effects from the 2014 preliminary trade decisions, according to the report.

NPD Solarbuzz added that recent investments in U.S.-based manufacturing have largely been made by companies anticipating strong growth in the U.S. market, particularly in the higher average-selling-price-residential sector.