How is the U.S. residential solar installation market changing? Mike Munsell of Greentech Media has a fascinating article on the subject, which we strongly recommend. A few highlights:
- According to Shayle Kann, Senior Vice President of GTM Research, "just a few years ago, the residential installer landscape was dominated by small companies," but today "the market has undergone a dramatic shift driven in large part by new financing models."
- Now, just one company - "SolarCity, the nation's leading residential installer and financier" - "installed more than a quarter of all U.S. residential PV in 2013, up from 16 percent the year prior." Meanwhile, the "collective market share" of "the companies filling the No. 2 through No. 6 spots in the rankings" has grown "from 15 percent to 20 percent in the period 2012-2013."
- So, given all this, the article asks whether small installers are "in trouble." The answer: "Not necessarily. Fortunately for all companies, the U.S. residential PV market tends to experience more consistent growth quarter over quarter than its non-residential and utility counterparts; it was also the fastest-growing segment last year."
In sum, this is basically good news, as the U.S. residential solar installation market expands rapidly, meaning more business for everyone - whether you're in the "long tail" or elsewhere.