New solar installations in the US fell 16% year-over-year to 20.2 GW in 2022 due to policy-driven supply constraints, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) said on Thursday.
The decline was mainly blamed on the US Department of Commerce’s investigation into new anti-circumvention tariffs and equipment detainments under the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act.
The utility-scale segment suffered the biggest drop with installations down 31% year-over-year to 11.8 GW, according to the report by SEIA and Wood Mackenzie. Commercial and community solar installations declined by 6% and 16%, respectively. The residential segment saw a strong growth of 40% and installed almost 6 GW.
Solar installations are projected to return to growth in 2023, surging 41% to 28.4 GW, as some of the supply chain issues are expected to ease.
The report’s base case outlook sees US cumulative solar installations increasing to over 700 GW by 2033 from 141 GW at the end of 2022. Growth is forecast to average 19% until 2027.
“Companies are aggressively shifting their supply chains, helping to ensure that solar installed in the US is ethically sourced and has no connection to forced labour,” commented SEIA president and chief executive Abigail Ross Hopper. “While the solar and storage industry acts swiftly on supply chains and building a stronger domestic manufacturing base, ongoing threats of steep tariffs are holding back the potential of the historic Inflation Reduction Act,” she added.
Last year, the US brought more than 1.8 GW of solar module manufacturing capacity online, taking its total manufacturing capacity to 9 GW. Spurred by the Inflation Reduction Act, total US capacity will increase to 25 GW by the end of 2023 if all the announcements are realised, SEIA said. It added, however, that US module makers will rely on cell imports for several more years.
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