Analysis of the U.S. Residential Solar Power Market


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Solar photovoltaic (PV) will hold its spot as the fastest growing technology in the U.S. energy industry for the next four years. The prices of solar modules have been in a free fall since 2008, accelerating PV systems’ commercialization, while encouraging the development of new financing models for the residential sector.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan’s ( Analysis of the U.S. Residential Solar Power Market research finds that the market earned revenues of more than $1.73 billion in 2011 and estimates this to reach $3.04 billion in 2016. The cumulative PV solar installations in the United States reached 4,450, which generated 1,855 megawatts (MW) of solar power in 2011. The residential segment accounted for 15.2 percent, or 282 MW, of the annual installations during 2011, and is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 11.9 percent from 2011 to 2016.

If you are interested in more information on this research, please send an email to Britni Myers, Corporate Communications, at, with your full name, company name, job title, telephone number, company email address, company website, city, state and country.

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Analysis of the U.S. Residential Solar Power Market

  1. 1. Analysis of the U.S. Residential Solar Power MarketThird-party Leasing Model is Expected to Support Steady Growth in the Residential Solar Market NB2E-14 September 2012
  2. 2. Contents Section Slide Numbers Executive Summary 4 Market Overview 9 Residential Solar Power Market - External Challenges: Drivers and Restraints 13 Forecasts and Trends 24 Market Share and Competitive Analysis 35 Mega Trends and Industry Convergence Implications 44 Technology Trends 52 Solar System Components 60 Financial Trends 64 The Last Word (Conclusions and Implications) 67 Appendix 70NB2E-14 3
  3. 3. Executive SummaryNB2E-14 4
  4. 4. Executive Summary Solar photovoltaic (PV) has become, and will continue to be, the fastest growing technology in the U.S. energy industry over the next few years. Cumulative PV solar installations in the United States reached 4,450. The residential segment represented 15.2 percent or 282 MW of annual installations during 2011. The residential market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 11.2 percent from 2011 to 2016. This high growth in solar installations has not translated into higher revenue due to the continuing decline in the average sale price of solar modules. Expiration of the 1603 program is likely to affect new system installations, especially during 2012 and 2013. The PV industry experienced a tremendous supply-demand imbalance through the value chain in 2011. Most solar module manufacturers had to reduce prices, decrease margins, and, in some cases, close some manufacturing facilities. New financing methods, such as solar lease programs and power purchase agreements (PPAs), are one of the main drivers for solar installations in the residential segment. Source: Frost & Sullivan analysis.NB2E-14 5
  5. 5. Market OverviewNB2E-14 9
  6. 6. Market Overview Definitions Solar energy is a source of power that utilizes energy from the sun. The principal forms of solar energy are heat and light. The PV method is the process of converting energy from sunlight into electricity. The PV cell is the basic unit of a PV system, which is made of semiconductor devices wherein electrons are released when light strikes the cell, resulting in the flow of a charge. When a group of cells is arranged in an interconnecting pattern, the arrangement is called a module. This research service analyzes the solar power market in the United States for residential applications. The base year for this study is 2011, and the forecast period is 2012 to 2016. This research service analyzes the market share among solar panel manufacturers. This study only considers solar power technologies used for power generation and excludes other applications. Market size is provided in terms of revenue and installed capacity. Revenue figures consider the revenue generated from the sale of photovoltaic (PV) panels, including installations. Installed capacity figures describe the manufacturer-rated capacity of installed PV panels. Solar PV systems can be classified as crystalline silicon, thin film, and concentrator PV based on the employed technology. Source: Frost & Sullivan analysis.NB2E-14 10
  7. 7. Market Overview Key Questions This Study Will Answer What is the current status of the solar market? How long will it continue to grow, and at what rate? Who are the main participants in the market? How is the residential solar power market expect to evolve among the different applications in terms of installed capacity? What are the main drivers and restraints affecting the market? Are solar panel prices expected to continue decline in the future? What are the main technology trends affecting the market? Source: Frost & Sullivan analysis.NB2E-14 11