US residential PV trends in 2021


From pv magazine USA

US residential solar has had another record run this year. Forecasts show that 2021 will represent a 21% year-over-year increase in residential solar as the market reaches 3.9 GW of installed capacity, said the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).

Residential SolarReviews released its annual review of the sector and noted a 130% increase in customer quote requests. The US solar market has now surpassed 3 million solar installations, most of which are distributed residential PV, said SEIA. As commodity prices rose, costs took a small uptick in all solar sectors in the first half of 2021, reports SEIA.

In a report published in partnership with the University of California, Berkeley, SolarReviews found that 72.5% of survey respondents said that the upfront costs of solar remain the most significant barrier to adoption. The primary motivations for installation include bill savings, followed by disaster resiliency and reduced carbon emissions.

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With quote requests reaching new highs, SolarReviews has released a home solar calculator, which allows shoppers to estimate the size of the system needed, storage options, and financing options. The tool will soon model cost and emissions savings associated with charging an electric vehicle with residential solar, said SolarReviews. This year, SolarReviews reported a tenfold increase in quote requests related to its guide on how to charge a Tesla at home.

Image: SolarReviews

Home battery interest and growth are ramping up nearly exponentially. The joint study showed that in the span of five years (2016-20), 71% of battery installations occurred in 2020 alone. Installation totals for this year are expected to be even higher, said the report.

Interest in battery storage alongside solar is increasing, but only 11.5% of solar customer respondents to the survey said they have attached batteries. SolarReviews noted a sharp uptick in solar and energy storage quotation requests during extreme weather events. During the peak wildfire season in California, it reported a 358% increase in quote requests, for example. 

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