Nevada’s sanity is finally showing up. Florida’s finally becoming a player. And California and Colorado’s maturing markets are struggling.
Those are the headlines from the latest OhmHome June Solar Index, which analyzes solar permit data for the residential and commercial markets on a monthly basis for geographies in which the data is readily available.
Overall, the number of residential and commercial solar permits fell 14% in the first six months of 2017 compared to the same period in 2016, led by significant declines in California (-30%) and Colorado (-32%), which OhmHome analysts David Rather and Casey Anderson attribute largely to their statuses as maturing markets.
In contrast, emerging markets like Florida (+110%) and South Carolina (+97%) surged compared to the same period last year, reflecting recent favorable policy prescriptions in those states. And Nevada, whose residential and commercial rooftop markets were left for dead as recently as last year, saw a 70% increase over 2016 as the legislature finally seems to be fixing the damage wrought by its Public Utilities Commission in December 2015.
Of the 17 states surveyed, more than half of them (53%) saw slight increases from the number of permits issued in May, New Mexico (+18%) and Utah (+14%) leading the charge. On the other side of the ledger, Vermont (-63%) and Massachusetts (-36%) saw the largest decreases over the same period.
It should be noted, however, that the total number of overall permits issued in various states (Vermont, for example, issued three permits total in June) may make the percentage change seem more significant than it actually is.
OhmHome’s Solar Index weights growth rates from available permits to state solar market sizes per the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).