Behind-the-meter energy storage is here and two other takeaways from GTM’s Storage Monitor

Behind-the-meter energy storage in the U.S. has some legit momentum right now, judging by the Q2 2018 Energy Storage Monitor put out by GTM Research and the Energy Storage Association.

1. From Q1 to Q2 this year, the entire U.S. storage market grew by 42 percent, hitting 61.8 MW. Year over year, that’s an increase of 60 percent, which is important to note because Q2 2017 was a solid quarter for BTM storage capacity added. The difference in a year is the rise of residential storage (noted in the dark blue in the graph below.)

GTM Research storage data

BTM Residential is in dark blue, BTM non-residential the middle blue, cut out from the GTM Storage Monitor for Q2 2018.

2. In MWh, the storage market grew 200 percent year over year, with behind the meter deployments accounting for almost two-thirds of the total in Q2 2018.

3. Going forward, GTM sees big things (almost 1 GW market in 2019, and 2 GW in 2020), but there is a slight hiccup because lithium-ion battery prices did not drop as much as expected because of battery cell shortages. Once production capacity on that side catches up, the steep rates of 15 percent price declines or more per year should continue.

— Solar Builder magazine

GTM: Future of smart homes tied to voice automation devices, grid response

Simpliphi NY Smart Home

Smart thermostats, connected lighting and electric water heaters offer customers greater awareness and control of their energy consumption. These devices are part of a broader landscape of home energy management technologies. By 2023, 28 percent of U.S. households will deploy smart thermostats; 36 percent will have at least one voice assistant device and use the device as a smart home control platform. GTM Research estimates home energy management technologies will result in $24 billion in hardware sales to market players from 2016 to 2023, in a recent report, “Energy Management in the Connected Home.”

As with the transformation of connected utility distribution equipment, connected home technologies have two-way communication capabilities which enable them to collect data on electricity consumption and be more integrated with grid operations – differentiating them from energy efficiency upgrades and one-way demand response controls that offered limited visibility and control capabilities.

The report indicates that although the home energy management landscape is comprised of a wide variety of technologies with different capabilities, connected devices are at the center of automating and orienting the home to become an asset to the energy system.

RELATED:  The Holistic Home: We peer into the future of home energy generation, usage

To-date increasing interactivity of the home has been driven by safety, comfort and convenience, not energy savings. “It’s recognized by both customers and utilities that customers only think about energy savings when their energy bill is a significant portion of their spending,” said Fei Wang, Senior Grid Edge Analyst and author of the report. “The savings potential is so small that it is hard to sustain customer engagement.”
GTM Research smart home

This is evident in the explosion of voice assistant devices sold in 2017. These devices have been sold largely as tools to enable hands-free information and audio services to enhance customer convenience, but they are also becoming the human interface or even the brain of the smart home, wrote Wang in the report. Google and Amazon are among the most well-known players in voice assistance, and GTM Research estimates that there will be 129 million of these devices deployed by 2023, making it a key technology for the home energy market. Technologies that are more exclusively focused on energy management, such as smart thermostats and smart lighting are projected to experience more conservative growth.

The smart home arena attracts players from various channels; and partnerships form across channels. Internet service providers and security companies are working to expand their relationship with American consumers by expanding into energy management offerings. Many companies are forming partnerships to build out a portfolio of services that is attractive to consumers. The report includes several case studies highlighting notable projects.

A seamless customer experience will be a competitive advantage in this market, noted Wang. “Automation and reducing prompts to react to grid events are key to keeping customers engaged and preventing customer fatigue,” said Wang. Automation will allow connected devices to participate fluidly with demand flexibility programs without active customer acknowledgement while ensuring customer comfort.

— Solar Builder magazine

Solar was more than half of all U.S. electricity capacity added in Q1 — here’s how it happened

U.S. solar electric capacity

Showing resiliency in spite of the new tariffs on imported modules, the U.S. solar market added 2.5 gigawatts of solar PV in the first quarter of the year, representing annual growth of 13 percent (and a 37% quarter-over-quarter decrease), according to the latest U.S. Solar Market Insight Report from GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).

Solar PV accounted for 55 percent of all U.S. electricity capacity added during the quarter and added more than two gigawatts for the 10th straight quarter, the study said.

Overall, the report estimates that solar’s growth in 2018 will mirror 2017’s 10.6 GW before growing more robustly in 2019 and then accelerating in the early 2020s.

FIGURE: New U.S. Electricity Generating Capacity Additions, 2010-Q1 2018

GTM solar energy market insight

Source: GTM Research / SEIA U.S. Solar Market Insight, Q2 2018.

“The solar industry had a strong showing in the first quarter,” said SEIA President and CEO Abigail Ross Hopper. “This data shows that solar has become a common-sense option for much of the U.S. and is too strong to be set back for long, even in light of the tariffs. States from California to Florida have stepped up with smart policies that will drive investment for years to come.”

According to the report, the solar industry installed 1.4 gigawatts of utility-scale PV in Q1, the 10th consecutive gigawatt-scale quarter for the U.S.’s largest solar market segment.

RELATED: Install more solar with our Attack the Tariff tips

Will this sustain?

GTM Research said utility-scale solar projects thus far have been relatively insulated from tariffs but analysts expect the tariffs to have a bigger impact on the segment in 2019. However, they forecast growth for the market. The report increased the forecast for utility-scale solar to 6.6 GW in 2018. That’s slightly higher than the 6.47 GW predicted in March.

While voluntary procurement by utilities is the largest driver of utility-scale PV, corporate procurement/offsite commercial and industrial now accounts for 2.0 GWdc, or 10%, of projects in development.

Non-residential continues to rise

Coming off its largest quarter ever, non-residential PV fell 34% quarter-over-quarter, despite posting 23% year-over-year growth. But the non-residential segment still posted its fourth-highest installation total ever, with 509 megawatts installed. Regulatory demand pull-in from looming policy deadlines in California and the Northeast is a leading growth factor.

The other growth silo is community solar. Minnesota alone added more than 100 MW of community solar in Q1. The report says the U.S. has now surpassed 1 cumulative GW of community solar capacity.

Residential stays flat

New additions of residential PV remained flat quarter-over-quarter and year-over-year in Q1 2018, following a 15 percent contraction in 2017.

“This is a promising indicator that constraints to residential PV growth like segment-wide customer acquisition challenges and national installer pullback are abating,” GTM Senior Analyst Austin Perea said. “However, these problems are not entirely solved, as we’re seeing slowdowns in states with a relatively high penetration of PV installations.”

The report notes that three of the top five residential solar markets in 2017 — Maryland, New Jersey, and New York — are expected to contract in 2018 for a second consecutive year as a function of the persistent customer-acquisition challenges.

“The decline in some major state markets will be offset by growth in emerging markets,” Perea said.

Florida having its moment

GTM Research and SEIA highlighted Florida as a standout state in this quarter’s edition of the report. Florida added more solar than it did in all of 2016, the second most capacity after California and the first time ever that it was ranked among the top 5 for quarterly installations.

Forecast brightens a bit

GTM Research anticipates the U.S. market in aggregate will be flat this year. The U.S. market can again expect to see growth exceeding 10 percent in the early 2020s, driven in part by California’s recently announced policy requiring solar on all new homes. The report forecasts that within five years, California’s new home solar market alone will be larger than the No. 2 state residential solar market, New Jersey, by 100 MW.

Total installed U.S. PV capacity is expected to more than double over the next five years. By 2023, more than 14 GW of solar will be installed annually.

Download the report’s free executive summary here.

— Solar Builder magazine

Solar was more than half of all U.S. electricity capacity added in Q1 — here’s how it happened

U.S. solar electric capacity

Showing resiliency in spite of the new tariffs on imported modules, the U.S. solar market added 2.5 gigawatts of solar PV in the first quarter of the year, representing annual growth of 13 percent (and a 37% quarter-over-quarter decrease), according to the latest U.S. Solar Market Insight Report from GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).

Solar PV accounted for 55 percent of all U.S. electricity capacity added during the quarter and added more than two gigawatts for the 10th straight quarter, the study said.

Overall, the report estimates that solar’s growth in 2018 will mirror 2017’s 10.6 GW before growing more robustly in 2019 and then accelerating in the early 2020s.

FIGURE: New U.S. Electricity Generating Capacity Additions, 2010-Q1 2018

GTM solar energy market insight

Source: GTM Research / SEIA U.S. Solar Market Insight, Q2 2018.

“The solar industry had a strong showing in the first quarter,” said SEIA President and CEO Abigail Ross Hopper. “This data shows that solar has become a common-sense option for much of the U.S. and is too strong to be set back for long, even in light of the tariffs. States from California to Florida have stepped up with smart policies that will drive investment for years to come.”

According to the report, the solar industry installed 1.4 gigawatts of utility-scale PV in Q1, the 10th consecutive gigawatt-scale quarter for the U.S.’s largest solar market segment.

RELATED: Install more solar with our Attack the Tariff tips

Will this sustain?

GTM Research said utility-scale solar projects thus far have been relatively insulated from tariffs but analysts expect the tariffs to have a bigger impact on the segment in 2019. However, they forecast growth for the market. The report increased the forecast for utility-scale solar to 6.6 GW in 2018. That’s slightly higher than the 6.47 GW predicted in March.

While voluntary procurement by utilities is the largest driver of utility-scale PV, corporate procurement/offsite commercial and industrial now accounts for 2.0 GWdc, or 10%, of projects in development.

Non-residential continues to rise

Coming off its largest quarter ever, non-residential PV fell 34% quarter-over-quarter, despite posting 23% year-over-year growth. But the non-residential segment still posted its fourth-highest installation total ever, with 509 megawatts installed. Regulatory demand pull-in from looming policy deadlines in California and the Northeast is a leading growth factor.

The other growth silo is community solar. Minnesota alone added more than 100 MW of community solar in Q1. The report says the U.S. has now surpassed 1 cumulative GW of community solar capacity.

Residential stays flat

New additions of residential PV remained flat quarter-over-quarter and year-over-year in Q1 2018, following a 15 percent contraction in 2017.

“This is a promising indicator that constraints to residential PV growth like segment-wide customer acquisition challenges and national installer pullback are abating,” GTM Senior Analyst Austin Perea said. “However, these problems are not entirely solved, as we’re seeing slowdowns in states with a relatively high penetration of PV installations.”

The report notes that three of the top five residential solar markets in 2017 — Maryland, New Jersey, and New York — are expected to contract in 2018 for a second consecutive year as a function of the persistent customer-acquisition challenges.

“The decline in some major state markets will be offset by growth in emerging markets,” Perea said.

Florida having its moment

GTM Research and SEIA highlighted Florida as a standout state in this quarter’s edition of the report. Florida added more solar than it did in all of 2016, the second most capacity after California and the first time ever that it was ranked among the top 5 for quarterly installations.

Forecast brightens a bit

GTM Research anticipates the U.S. market in aggregate will be flat this year. The U.S. market can again expect to see growth exceeding 10 percent in the early 2020s, driven in part by California’s recently announced policy requiring solar on all new homes. The report forecasts that within five years, California’s new home solar market alone will be larger than the No. 2 state residential solar market, New Jersey, by 100 MW.

Total installed U.S. PV capacity is expected to more than double over the next five years. By 2023, more than 14 GW of solar will be installed annually.

Download the report’s free executive summary here.

— Solar Builder magazine

GTM: Global solar installations to top 100 GW in 2018 for first time

The global solar PV market will add over 100 gigawatts of capacity for the first time in 2018. According to the latest Global Solar Demand Monitor from GTM Research, installations will reach 104 gigawatts this year, representing 6 percent annual growth. GTM Research analysts anticipate that annual installations will easily exceed the 100-gigawatt milestone through at least 2022.

The year-over-year growth is due in part to geographic diversification, as the top four markets are anticipated to collectively decline by 7 percent.

GTM Research global solar

Installations in China will fall from 53 gigawatts in 2017 to 48 gigawatts in 2018. Though China alone will account for 47 percent of global demand this year.

For the first time in China’s history, annual distributed solar (<20 megawatts) installations are expected to surpass 50 percent of the nation’s annual installed capacity.

“Trade restrictive measures continue to be a barrier to growth in the U.S. and India,” said GTM Research Solar Analyst Rishab Shrestha. “Although the availability of tariff-free modules in the U.S. and the announcement that compensation will be provided to Indian developers negatively impacted by changes to tariffs and duties provides some encouragement.” According to the report, the U.S. market is expected to add 10.6 gigawatts of solar PV in 2018 while India will install 7.1 gigawatts.

GTM Research global solar market

FIGURE: Number of Gigawatt-Scale Solar Markets by Year. Source: GTM Research Global Solar Markets Service

In 2018, Latin America and Middle East and Africa will add 5.6 gigawatts and 4.7 gigawatts respectively, representing explosive year over year growth of 61 percent and 281 percent respectively. Up to 1 gigawatt of projects awarded through Mexico’s A1 auction are expected to come online this year; as is Egypt’s 1.8 gigawatt Benban solar park. This growth will put these two markets at the top of their respective regions based in 2018.

According to the analysis, Egypt, and Brazil will become gigawatt-markets for the first time in 2018; while this year will also see the re-emergence of Spain – which last saw more than 1 GW installed in 2008 – and France, which will firmly establish itself as one of Europe’s top three largest markets.

 

— Solar Builder magazine