Each quarter, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) conducts the Quarterly Solar Industry Update, a presentation of technical trends within the solar industry Each presentation focuses on global and U.S. supply and demand, module and system price, investment trends and business models, and updates on U.S. government programs supporting the solar industry. 

Download the latest report: Summer 2023 Quarterly Solar Industry Update

Key updates from the Summer 2023 Quarterly Solar Industry Update presentation, released August 3, 2023:

Global Solar Deployment

  • In 2022, after several years of stagnation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a record 9.5 million off-grid solar products were sold, representing a collective capacity of 94 megawatts (MW).
    • Most of these sales were associated with lighting products and appliances, such as fans, TVs, water pumps, and refrigerators.
  • The 110 MW Solgest concentrating solar-thermal power plant is to be built in Spain this year along with 40 MW of photovoltaics (PV).

U.S. PV Deployment

  • In quarter (Q) 2 2023, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released initial guidance on several key provisions within the Inflation Reduction Act, including: labor rules, bonus credits (1,2,3), direct payment, and transferability of the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) and Production Tax Credit (PTC), as well as the Advanced Energy Project Credit (48C). View our federal solar tax credit resources.
  • At the end of 2022, more than 263,000 U.S. employees spent most of their time on solar. An additional 82,250 workers spent less than half their time on solar-related work.
  • The United States installed 5.7 gigawatts alternating current (GWac) (6.1 GW direct current (dc)) of PV in Q1 2023—and the largest Q1 on record; a significant portion was in Texas, Florida, and California.
  • 34% of U.S. utility-scale PV and approximately 21% of all U.S. PV systems built in 2022 used cadmium telluride (CdTe) panels.
  • The United States installed approximately 2.1 GW-hours (GWh) (0.8 GWac) of energy storage onto the electric grid in Q1 2023.
  • 89% of GWh of utility-scale battery storage installed in 2021 was co-located with an electric generation asset (or retired plant), however in 2022, that number dropped to 59%.

PV System and Component Pricing

  • Global polysilicon spot prices dropped about 70% from mid-April to mid-July, reaching the $8/kg level for the first time in 3 years.
  • Global module prices reached their lowest-ever point at $0.17/W because of oversupply, competition, decreasing module commodity (e.g., silver, aluminum) and freight prices, and a decline in the value of the yuan vs. the dollar—despite continued strong demand for modules worldwide.
  • In Q2 2023 (first two months), the average U.S. module price ($0.37/Wdc) was up 2% quarter over quarter (q/q) with no change year over year (y/y) and modules trading at a 76% premium over the global spot price for monofacial monocrystalline silicon modules.
  • LevelTen reports that after several years of rising prices, solar power purchase agreement (PPA) prices in the U.S. showed signs of stabilization in Q2.
  • From half (H) 1 2022 to H1 2023, distributed PV system prices generally increased in nominal dollars but were down when accounting for inflation.

Global Manufacturing

  • In Q1 2023, margins for most PV companies increased as demand increased, aided by a significant drop in polysilicon prices.
  • Available data for 8 of the leading PV module suppliers found that Q1 2023 shipments were 61% higher than shipments from these companies in Q1 2022.
  • Since the Inflation Reduction Act’s (IRA’s) passage, more than 185 GW of U.S. manufacturing capacity has been announced across the solar supply chain, including 44 separate new manufacturing plants and 6 expansions.

U.S. PV Imports

  • 12.2 GWdc of PV modules were imported into the United States in Q1 2023, +17% q/q and +149% y/y.
  • 790 MWdc of cells were imported in Q1 2023, up 13% q/q and 32% y/y.
  • Despite the increase in PV cell imports in Q1 2023, as of May, PV cell imports are still on track to reach 2.5 GWdc of the Section 201 quota despite the quota being raised to 5.0 GWdc last year.


Presentations are available for download in PDF format below.