The solar industry is among many sectors feeling the pinch of higher prices, according to a report released Tuesday by the Solar Energy Industries Association and Wood Mackenzie.
Prices rose quarter over quarter and year over year across every solar segment during the period. It’s the first time that residential, commercial and utility solar costs have risen in tandem since the energy consultancy began tracking prices in 2014.
The most-significant cost pressures came from a jump in prices for raw materials, including steel and aluminum. Elevated shipping costs also played a role. The bulk of these impacts will likely start to show in 2022, since many companies have enough inventory to see them through the end of the year, according to the report.
Overall, the U.S. added 5.7 gigawatts of solar capacity during the period, a record for second-quarter installations. That also marks a 45% jump over 2020′s level as the pandemic roiled the industry.
“The solar industry continues to demonstrate strong quarterly growth, and demand is high across every segment,” Wood Mackenzie principal solar analyst Michelle Davis said. “But the industry is now bumping up against multiple challenges. … Addressing these challenges will be critical to expanding the industry’s growth and meeting clean energy targets.”