3 Solar Trends for 2017—Get in the Know!

By now, most of us know that solar energy harnesses the power of the sun to produce energy. But did you know that 2016 was an unprecedented year for solar installation? More than 14.8 GWdc were installed in the U.S.1 We’ve got facts and figures to show you how 2017 is shaping up. But first, if you want a quick history lesson on solar energy, read our blog Solar Energy: Past, Present and Future.

Residential versus community

Residential solar is seeing a swing from third-party leasing to direct ownership for homeowners. And GTM Research expects the segment to account for more than half of residential capacity additions in 20172. It’s important to note that California still stands as the largest state market for residential PV.1

The community solar market is expected to reach 400 megawatts with help from utility-led programs and the elimination of regulatory and legislative delays.2

Utility PV

Utility PV is the main reason for installation growth in this country. 1.1 GWdc worth of projects came online in the first quarter of 2017, and 4.7 GWdc are under construction3. This trajectory will allow us to see a 40-45% increase in installations for the first half of the year.


When it comes to pricing, total PV systems saw a decline across all market segments, while component pricing varied based on demand and inventory levels3.

Looking ahead

The outlook looks strong for residential, non-residential and utility PV markets. 2017 should see continued growth, while 2018 is more limited. Analysts are expecting a return to year-over-year growth for 20191.

If you’ve been thinking about becoming part of the solar-energy trend, learn how you can save money, boost your home’s value and make a difference for the planet with residential solar options from Green Mountain Energy.


  1. Solar Market Insight 2016 Year in Review
  2. 10 Solar Trends to Watch in 2017
  3. GTM Research’s U.S. Solar Market Insight Executive Summary (2017 Q2)

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