The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) released its 2021 module shipments report, reflecting a market of $9.8 billion for imported and exported solar panels. The figure also includes US-made solar panels that were shipped to US projects. This represents a 19.5% increase over 2020’s total.
The average cost of these shipments was $0.34/W, down from 2020’s average of $0.38/W. The cost fell despite supply chain pressures, rising shipping costs, and increased materials costs. Modules prices have fallen steadily from about $2.00 per peak Watt in 2010.
In 2021, the United States had nearly 29 million module shipments. This number was only 320,000 when EIA began reporting it in 2006, and about 3.7 million ten years prior to this report in 2011.
EIA reports 4.2 million modules were manufactured domestically, while nearly 23 million were imported. Export shipments totaled about 1.1 million modules. About 119,000 were purchased from U.S. original equipment manufacturers.
China, Singapore, Taiwan, and Vietnam accounted for 11.3 million modules shipped to the United States. Malaysia accounted for 3.2 million; South Korea, Thailand, and United Arab Emirates nearly 5 million; and “other” nations shipped nearly 3.5 million modules.
In terms of peak kilowatts, the top three states for module shipments were California (5.1 million peak kW), Texas (4.3 million peak kW), and Florida (1.7 million peak kW).
Notably, EIA said fewer companies now report on the module shipments “EIA-63B” form due to “company consolidation and changes to strategic planning of companies in the U.S. solar photovoltaic industry.” As a result, EIA’s 2021 report is less detailed to protect confidentiality of company-level data. Data can no longer be published for the specific types of PV cells and modules, or by region.
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