Residential solar installations in New York increased 12 percent in 2016 to 19,945, which is a significant slowdown from 100 percent growth in 2015. Industry analysts believe this change may be due to saturation in areas that are a strong fit for solar as well as the impact of the election uncertainty. Reuters covered this trend in its recent article.
Average Price Per Watt
The average price per watt (before incentives) for a residential installation in 4Q16 declined nearly 5 percent vs. the prior year to $4.11 and nearly 14 percent vs. 1Q15. This decline is largely due to module price declines (as much as 30 percent), as noted by a recent article from Reuters on Sunpower, the second largest U.S. panel maker.
The percentage of third-party owned systems declined to 56 percent from an average of 62 percent in 2015. The shift to customer-owned systems is expected to continue and is being driven by several factors, including (i) a slowdown by large national installers, (ii) expansion of attractive loan alternatives for consumers and (iii) growing solar markets in states (Florida and Utah) that do not allow third-party ownership.
National Installer Market Share
National installer market share increased to an average of 40 percent in 2016 vs. 38 percent in 2015. This increase is counter to the trend in California, which experienced a declining national solar installer market share. Increasing platform and technology support has boosted regional installers across the country.
Installations by Customer Sector
As the residential sector increased, the non-residential (commercial, industrial, public, and military) declined slightly (3 percent).
Fastest Growing Cities
Solar has proven to be a contagious product with referrals in local areas driving installation density. Many of the top 50 fastest growing neighborhoods/cities were in New York City, which has set ambitious solar goals.
This article was originally published by Sunvago and was republished with permission.