From 2010 to 2021, global PV capacity additions grew from 17 GWdc to 172 GWdc. In 2021, global PV installs increased 19%, y/y. The total cumulative installed capacity for PV at the end of 2021 reached at least 939 GWdc. European markets led in the beginning of the decade, but PV growth then transitioned to Asia. At the end of 2021, 57% of cumulative PV installations were in Asia, 21% were in Europe, and 16% were in the Americas. In 2021, the top 10 countries installed 74% of global installations. At least 20 countries installed more than 1 GW of PV, and 15 countries now have more than 10 GW of cumulative PV.
Chinese Generation Capacity Additions by Source
In 2021, solar contributed 26% to new generation capacity in China (55 GWdc/~44 GWac) and 13% of cumulative capacity (309 GWdc/247 GWac). Solar installed in 2021 surpassed the previous high of 42 GWac set in 2017. In 2021, for the first time, more distributed solar (53%) was installed than utility-scale solar (47%). Wind and solar accounted for 57% of the capacity installed in 2021—the fifth straight year they contributed more than half of capacity additions. Coal and gas deployment has remained relatively flat over the past 11 years as renewables have grown. The share of capacity from renewables has increased as China’s total electric capacity has grown. China’s capacity grew by 119% from 2011 to 2021. During the same period, the percentage of total coal and gas capacity dropped from 72% to 56%. New non-carbon generation capacity as a percentage of total new capacity increased from 39% to 68%.
New U.S. Capacity Additions, 2010–2021 In 2021, PV represented approximately 44% of new U.S. electric generation capacity (31% UPV, 13% DPV), compared to 4% in 2010. Wind represented 33% of added capacity. Since 2017, PV has represented approximately 35% of new electric generation capacity. Over 35 GWac of new installed capacity was either from renewable energy or battery technologies in 2021, surpassing last year’s record and nearly matching the total U.S. capacity additions in 2020 and 2018. Combined with wind, 77% of all new capacity in 2021 came from renewable sources. Battery installations jumped by a factor of 5 from 2020 to 2021; it now represents 8% of capacity additions.
Solar Generation as a Percentage of Total Generation, 2021 In 2021, 11 states generated more than 6% of their electricity from solar, with California leading the way at 25.0%. Five states generated more than 16% of their electricity using solar. Nationally, 3.9% of electricity was generated from solar. The role of utility versus distributed solar varies by state, with northeastern states and Hawaii relying more on DPV. Northeastern states also tend to have a greater proportion of their DPV coming from C&I, although it is still fairly even.
U.S. Energy Storage Installations by Market Segmen The United States installed approximately 10.6 GWh (3.6 GWac) of energy storage onto the electric grid in 2021, +197% (+144%) y/y, as a result of record levels of residential and front-of-the-meter deployment. Q4 2021 is the first quarter during which 1 GWac of front-of-the-meter storage was installed. Front-of-the-meter, nonresidential, and residential were up 169%, 32%, and 86% in 2021 y/y, respectively California continues to dominate front-of-the meter and residential installations. And Puerto Rico, Texas, Florida, and Nevada had significant 2021 installations.Florida notably jumped from 1% to 10% of installations in Q4 2021 (mainly as a result of one 409 MWac project). New York overtook Massachusetts in the nonresidential sector as a result of community-scale storage. Despite the record levels of storage deployment, over 2 GW of grid-scale capacity originally slated to come online in Q4 2021 was delayed to 2022 and 2023 due to supply chain issues.
Global Annual PV Shipments by Region* In 2021, global PV shipments were approximately 194 GW an increase of 47% from 2020. From 2004 to 2021: The U.S.-manufactured percentage of global PV shipments declined from around 13% to 1.2% (though it achieved its highest level since 2015). The chinese-manufactured share of global PV shipments grew from 1% to 69%. Together the Malaysian-, Vietnamese-, and South Korean-manufactured percentage of global PV shipments went from 0% to 24% (with Vietnamese growth coming on rapidly during the last 5 years).
U.S. Module and Cell Manufacturing From 2011 to 2021, U.S. manufacturers faced varying degrees
of challenges. Wafer production in the United States ended in 2015, cell production ended in 2021, and it is unclear whether any solar-grade polysilicon is being produced domestically. U.S. inverter manufacturing grew with increasing U.S. demand; however due to economic pressures, many manufacturers closed U.S. plants to consolidate operations in Europe or to manufacture in China. PV-assembled modules stagnated for most of the past decade before scaling up significantly in 2018 and 2019. In 2021, the United States produced a record 4.8 GW of PV modules, up 11% y/y, mostly as a result of a 25% increase in production by First Solar. Annual production of c-Si modules has continued to grow in 2020 and 2021, although at a much slower rate. Additional parts of the U.S. PV manufacturing supply chain such as racking, glass, laminates, and backsheets are not covered here.
SREC Pricing The graphs reflect a change from 2021 to 2022 SREC bids, accounting for Maryland’s price decline; Maryland’s 2021 SRECs were priced $20 higher than 2022 SRECs during the quarter due to a higher alternative compliance payment for 2021. Otherwise, SREC prices stayed relatively flat
in the past quarter. Active SREC programs have closed in New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Ohio.
Module and Cell Imports by Region Module imports in the United States shrank in 2021, mainly as a
result of decreased imports from Malaysia (-19% y/y, -1.4 GW), South Korea (-22% y/y, -0.4 GW), and China (-85% y/y, -0.2 GW). U.S. PV cell imports grew 17% y/y in 2021, roughly matching 2019 PV cell imports. – China dropped from 236 MW PV cells in 2020 to <2 MW in 2021, with the difference mainly being made up by increased imports from Malaysia, Vietnam, and Thailand.
c-Si Module and Cell Imports by Region Collectively, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, and Cambodia represent 83% of c-Si modules (15 GW) imports and 46% of c-Si cells (1.2 GW) imports, or 78% of cells imported as either cells or already incorporated into modules (17 GW). c-Si module imports decreased 18% y/y in 2021, mainly as a result of decreased imports from Malaysia (-29% y/y, -2.1 GW), Vietnam (-6% y/y, 0.5 GW), and South Korea (-22% y/y, -0.4 GW).
Recent News on AD/CVD Petition
On February 8, 2022, Auxin filed a circumvention inquiry request alleging solar cells and modules completed in Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, or Vietnam using parts and components manufactured in China are circumventing U.S. tariffs. Pursuant to section 781(b) of the Tariff Act of 1930 (merchandise completed or assembled in other foreign countries), the following must be true: (A) Merchandise imported into the United States is of the same class or kind as any merchandise produced in a foreign country that is the subject of an AD order or finding or a CVD order; (B) before importation into the United States, such imported merchandise is completed or assembled in another foreign country from merchandise which is subject to the order or finding or is produced in the foreign country with respect to which such order or finding applies; (C) the process of assembly or completion in the foreign country referred to in subparagraph (B) is minor or insignificant; (D) the value of the merchandise produced in the foreign country to which the AD (or CVD) order applies is a significant portion of the total value of the merchandise exported to the United States; AND (E) the administering authority determines that action is appropriate to prevent evasion of such order or finding. On April 1, 2022, Commerce initiated country-wide circumvention inquiries on imports of crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells, whether or not they were assembled into modules (solar cells and modules), which are completed in Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, or Vietnam using parts and components from the People’s Republic of China (China), are circumventing the AD and CVD orders on solar cells and modules from China. Commerce will solicit information from certain companies in Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam concerning their production of solar cells and modules and their shipments thereof to the United States. A preliminary determination in these circumvention proceedings will be issued in no later than 150 days. Until an official determination is made, a cash deposit will apply at a rate that would be applicable if the products were determined to be covered by the scope of the AD/CVD.
Impact of Auxin AD/CVD Petition The investigation could last up to a year and, if Commerce rules
in favor of the petition, tariffs of up to 250% could be levied on most cells and modules imported into the United States. SEIA surveyed 412 companies, a week after Commerce announced the opening of an investigation that Chinese companies are circumventing AD/CVD duties through manufacturing cells and modules in Southeast Asia. More than 90% of the companies polled said the Commerce Department’s actions are having a severe or devastating impact on their bottom line, including 80% of
domestic manufacturers. Over three-quarters of companies purchasing modules reported a canceled or
delayed module supply due to the opening of the investigation. Roth Capital reported that solar facilities in Vietnam, Malaysia, and Cambodia, have started to reduce production. Two-thirds of respondents reported that at least 70% of their solar and storage workforce is at risk. 56% of respondents report at least 70% or more of their current-year solar pipeline at risk. 64% of energy storage respondents also reported severe or devastating affects because storage is currently so tied to solar. While the investigation is still ongoing, manufacturers and developers have concerns about retroactive duties back to April 2022, or perhaps November 2021, and large cash deposits which would be collected if there is an affirmative preliminary determination. Wood Mackenzie reported that the petition could eliminate 16 GW of panels from the U.S. supply chain, and SEIA reported that the solar industry would lose 70,000 of its 231,000 jobs.