Residential solar power grows 11% in Q1 2018

OhmHome’s latest quarterly report suggests that in the first quarter of 2018, the residential solar power market showed 11% growth over the first quarter of 2017. This would be the first year-over-year growth since the fourth quarter of 2016.

The data also seems to show some very great variances across multiple markets, reflecting ongoing state-level policy turmoil. And it was not all bad news. Nevada showed 784% growth, a statistical whiplash resulting from net metering first being cancelled, with major solar companies abandoning the market, and then being reinstated midway through 2017.

The nation’s two largest solar power markets – California and Massachusetts – showed year-over-year growth during Q1 at 14% and 9%, respectively. California represented nearly 50% of the quarterly deployments. The report suggests that the California energy storage rebate helped drive the market, which is further evidenced by the high rate of residential solar customers who are showing an interest in energy storage.

Growth in the residential market would be welcome for the market after the choppy 2017. With an increasing volume of securitizations of residential solar power assets and customers gaining comfort with 20-year term loans that improve their net monthly cash position immediately, the residential solar market may be well poised to continue growth even in the face of rising interest rates.

OhmHome states that its estimates are based upon information from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) as well as its proprietary database of solar projects. Another count of the U.S. residential solar market in Q1 2018 will be available when GTM Research and Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) publish their next quarterly U.S. Solar Market Insight report.