In the Q1 2016 Solar Executive Briefing, GTM Research analysts weigh in on global demand, the leading U.S. residential solar financiers, module pricing, and the global module-level power electronics market. The full deck, delivered to subscribing clients this week, is 65 slides of data and analysis. We've provided a few highlights in the presentation below.


GTM Research Quarterly Solar Briefing


Q1 2016


Top 5 Major Markets PV Demand 2015-2020E


  • The U.S. will overtake Japan as the no. 2 market in 2016.
  • The UK will cease to be a major market in 2017
  • India will become the 3rd largest market in 2018


Quarterly U.S. PV Installations by Market Segment: 2010-Q4 2015


In 2015, 7,620 MWdc of PV was installed across the United States
Residential PV: 2,099 MWdc
  • Up 66% over 2014
Non-Residential PV: 1,011 MWdc
  • Down 4% from 2014
Utility PV: 4,150 MWdc
  • First year in which utility PV installed over 4 GWdc


2015 Residential PV Installations: Top 10 State Markets


State Markets With Strong Upside Potential
The CPUC’s NEM 2.0 decision leaves retail-rate NEM compensation for exported excess generation intact with minor charges added and mandatory TOU rate schedulesfor all NEM 2.0 systems. Despite these changes, California remains well positioned to be one of the top 5 states for rooftop solar economics between now and 2020.
New York :
The NYPSC has lifted the aggregate NEM caps until NEM rules are finished being reviewed in a “value of DER” process initiated by REV. While long term growth will be contingent on the final outcome of the proceeding, upside potential exists in the near term with the first wave of installations coming online outside of the MW Block program.


Five Companies Control More than Two-Thirds of the U.S. Residential Market


According to SolarCity’s 2016 guidance, the company appears to be slowing down. The companies market share will likely not exceed the current market share of 35%.
Although Vivint ended the year at number two, Sunrun deployed more capacity than Vivint in Q4 (68 MW vs 59 MW). Based on the company’s guidance, Sunrun will maintain about a 10% market share in 2016. However, because Sunrun is projecting a 100% growth rate for its direct install business, its installer market share will likely grow from its current 3%


Module Prices Will Fall 4% in 2016


Our base-case scenario forecasts the industry average, Chinese produced multi module price dropping 4% Y/Y to $0.55/W in Q4 2016 and then falling at an annualized rate of 5% to $0.44/W by Q4 2020. The base-case long-term forecast above assumes a stable supply-demand landscape across the value chain, therefore little upside risk in input costs. 


Overall MLPE Shipments Increased 60% percent to 2,164 MWac in 2015


  • Market was 63% DC optimizers in 2015, up from 49% in 2015
  • SolarEdge (optimizers) and Enphase (microinverters) control nearly 93% of the global market, up from 86% of the market in 2014, 77% in 2013, and 76% in 2012 an 2011 –
  • SolarEdge grew its leading position over Enphase, and grew shipments 117% relative to 2014. Enphase shipments increased 23%. 


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