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U.S. Solar Bracing for First Decline as Rooftop Demand Slumps

  • Residential installations slipped 17% in second quarter
  • Industry sees two down years, and that’s without panel tariffs
A SolarCity Corp. Residential Solar Panel Installation Ahead Of Earnings Figures
Photographer: Sergio Flores/Bloomberg

The U.S. is poised to experience its first annual decline in solar-panel installations, as a drop in rooftop demand slows growth in the world’s second-biggest market.

Developers added a total of almost 2.4 gigawatts in the second quarter, putting the industry on pace to reach 12.4 gigawatts this year, according to a report Monday from GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association. That’s down about 17 percent from a record 2016, and the research company expects another decline in 2018.