Each quarter, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) conducts the Quarterly Solar Industry Update, a presentation of technical trends within the solar industry, to the solar office staff. 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.
Key updates from the Summer 2022 Quarterly Solar Industry Update presentation, released July 12, 2022:
Note: the material in this report was written before the introduction of the Inflation Reduction Act by Congress.
Global Solar Deployment
- Xinjiang province in China announced 13 concentrating solar-thermal power (CSP) projects totaling 1.35 gigawatts (GW) would be developed. Combined with the 1.1 GW of CSP projects announced by other provinces in January 2022, which are already hiring engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC), and breaking ground, these projects, once completed, would make China the largest CSP market in the world.
- The Global Off-Grid Lighting Association tracked 7.4 million off-grid solar products installed in 2021. They had a capacity of 69 megawatts (MW).
U.S. PV Deployment
- As of Q4 2021, the solar industry employed more than 255,000 workers.
- The United States installed 4.3 gigawatts-AC (GWac) of photovoltaics (PV) in Q1 2022; ~45% of that was in Texas, Florida, and California.
- The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates solar will install almost 26 GWac in 2022 and 33 GWac in 2023, compared to 19 GWac in 2021.
- 29% of U.S. utility-scale PV and ~19% of all U.S. PV systems built in 2021 used cadmium telluride (CdTe) panels.
- The United States installed ~2.9 gigawatt-hours (GWh) (0.955 GWac) of energy storage onto the electric grid in Q1 2022.
- The percentage of utility-scale PV systems paired with batteries is expected to increase to 32% of new additions in 2022, 25% in 2023, and 32% in 2024.
PV System and Component Pricing
- Reported PV system prices from select states increased between the first half (H1) of 2021 and H1 2022, representing the first time consistent price increases were observed in conjunction with the PV supply chain challenges that accelerated beginning in Q2 2021.
- Prices in dollars were flat at relatively high levels for polysilicon ($33–$36/kg or about $0.09/W), wafers (~$0.12/W), cells (~$0.16/W), and modules (~$0.26/W) in Q2 2022.
- In Q1 2022, U.S. utility-scale monofacial mono crystalline silicon (c-Si) module prices rose $0.03/W year-over-year (y/y) and $0.02/W quarter-over-quarter (q/q), and they were trading at a 54% premium over global average selling price (ASP).
- PV manufacturers, mostly Chinese companies, have generally been profitable since 2019.
- In 2021, 10 select Chinese companies spent over $7 billion in research and development, compared to $100 million each by First Solar and Maxeon, and about $1 billion by International Energy Agency governments.
U.S. PV Imports
- 4.9 gigawatts-DC (GWdc) of PV modules were imported into the United States in Q1 2022, down 23% y/y. As of May, imported modules and cells from the four countries under investigation for antidumping/countervailing (AD/CVD) circumvention were significantly below where they were a year ago (-32%, -597 MW y/y), mainly as a result of decreased imports from Malaysia.
Presentations are available for download in PDF format below.
- Summer 2022 Presentation – Released July 12, 2022
- Spring 2022 Presentation – Released April 26, 2022
- Winter 2021-2022 Presentation – Released January 11, 2022
- Fall 2021 Presentation – Released October 20, 2021
- H1 2021 Presentation – Released June 22, 2021
- Q3/Q4 2020 Presentation – Released April 6, 2021
- Q2/Q3 2020 Presentation – Released December 8, 2020
- Q1/Q2 2020 Presentation – Released September 1, 2020
- Q4 2019/Q1 2020 Presentation – Released June 19, 2020
- Q3/Q4 2019 Presentation – Released February 18, 2020
- Q2/Q3 2019 Presentation – Released November 12, 2019
- Q1/Q2 2019 Presentation – Released August 6, 2019
- Q4 2018/Q1 2019 Presentation – Released June 14, 2019
- Q3/Q4 Presentation – Released February 7, 2019
- Q2/Q3 Presentation – Released December 3, 2018
- Q1/Q2 Presentation – Released August 17, 2018
- Q4 2017/Q1 2018 Presentation - Released May 16, 2018
- Q3/Q4 Presentation – Released February 6, 2018
- Q2/Q3 Presentation – Released November 13, 2017
- Q1/Q2 Presentation – Released August 28, 2017