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Key updates from this Quarterly Solar Industry Update presentation:
- The United States installed 8 GWDC in the first 9 months of 2016, a 96% increase year over year—34 GWDC cumulative total capacity is now installed in the U.S.
- Solar represented approximately 34% of all new U.S. electricity deployment in Q1–Q3 2016.
- 65% of the solar installs in the first 9 months of 2016 were utility-scale PV systems.
- Relative “weakness” in traditional U.S. distributed solar markets has been offset by the emergence of newer markets.
- Emerging business practices are driving more solar deployment, such as community solar, corporate PPAs, and PURPA contracts.
- In Q3 2016, residential installation costs (excluding SG&A) for three of the leading firms in the United States were approximately $2/W, with SG&A adding $0.83/W–$0.88/W.
- After several years of relatively flat pricing, modules and components have begun a period of rapid price declines.
- Analysts have reported a significant drop in module pricing since July 2016, with module quotes between $0.35/W and $0.50/W in the second half of 2016—some in the industry have seen quotes well below $0.40/W for 2017 delivery.
- Some analysts are expecting prices around $0.3/W and costs around $0.2/W by 2020.
- While PV penetration as a share of total net generation for the nation is likely to remain below 3% over the next 5 years, analysts expect certain states to achieve much higher penetration levels.
- Nevada, California, Hawaii, and Vermont are all projected to have solar penetration rates above 20% by 2021.