Earlier this month, EnergySage published our eighth Solar Marketplace Intel Report™. The publicly available report provides data on the state of the solar market nationwide and at the state level, the breakdown of equipment packages quoted by solar installation companies, and additional energy interests from solar shoppers. Our key takeaways are outlined below. We welcome your analysis of this data as well!
Cost of solar inches closer to $3 per Watt
A decade ago, the cost of solar was close to $10 per Watt. Over the second half of 2018, EnergySage consumers received quotes at an average of $3.05 per Watt nationwide. Though the decreasing cost of solar has been precipitous year over year in the 2010s, the decline had stagnated at the national level over the last couple of years due in part to the tariffs on imported solar panels and policy uncertainty at both the federal state levels. It was a welcome sight to see a cost decline of over 2 percent between the first and second halves of 2018.
Additionally, while the average cost of solar dropped to nearly $3 per Watt nationwide, solar shoppers in the EnergySage Marketplace received sub-$3 per Watt quotes in states such as Florida ($2.72 per Watt average in 2018), Indiana ($2.95), Ohio ($2.99) and Texas ($2.91).
Trump Administration solar tariffs have yet to help domestic-made panel manufacturers
In our previous Intel Report, we found that the Trump Administration’s solar tariffs had imposed a quarter-billion dollar tax on American solar shoppers over just nine months. In this Intel Report, we took a look at the impact of the tariffs on imported solar panels on domestic manufacturers.
The share of American-made panels quoted and installed on the EnergySage Marketplace dropped precipitously from the beginning of 2016 through the middle of 2017 as SolarWorld, the leading domestic manufacturer at the time, announced bankruptcy. To date, the tariff on imported solar panels has not impacted the share of quotes or solar installations including American-made panels on the EnergySage Marketplace. In fact, in Q4 2018, under 10 percent of quotes on EnergySage included American-made panels, while under 5 percent of customers ultimately installed domestically-produced panels.
However, there is reason to believe the market share of domestic-manufactured modules will increase over the next year. A number of large, new market entrants–including Silfab, Hanwha, SunPower and LG–have announced that they will manufacture panels in the US in the coming years.
Solar shoppers remain very interested in energy storage
The eighth Solar Marketplace Intel Report™ is the third version of the report to track consumers’ solar-adjacent energy interests. Interestingly, the results remained remarkably consistent over the eighteen months studied, with interest levels varying by no more than 3 percentage points in any category in each six-month interval analyzed.
These results further expand upon the responses to our most recent nationwide Solar Installer Survey™, which found that one-third of all solar shoppers nationwide expressed interest in receiving quotes for energy storage. Interest in energy storage is high both inside and outside of the EnergySage Marketplace, and energy storage system manufacturers and installers alike are well poised to satiate this demand in the coming year.
See what options are available to you in the EnergySage Marketplace
All of our data reports are free and publicly available for download on the data page of our website, at www.energysage.com/data. In the full report, you’ll see the state-by-state breakdown for the cost of solar, the average payback period for solar systems, and more. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have questions about our data or to share your own analyses of this and other reports.
If you’re interested in seeing how the cost of solar in your neighborhood compares to national averages, register for the EnergySage Marketplace to receive up to seven free quotes from local, pre-screened solar installation companies.