Key statistics from the SolarReviews 2022 Solar Industry Survey



Key statistics from the SolarReviews 2022 Solar Industry Survey


During the early part of 2023, SolarReviews conducted a survey of companies in the U.S. solar industry. We heard from nearly 450 companies that comprised various industry sectors, from residential solar installers to equipment manufacturers and utility-scale developers. Their responses provided a snapshot of the industry’s experiences in 2022 and a good idea of the opportunities and challenges companies face in the new year.

We produced a full report of the results of the Solar Industry Survey, which provides a complete picture of the data we collected. We also pulled out some of the most interesting statistics our experts uncovered.

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Solar industry statistics

The data we gathered in the Solar Industry Survey paint a clear picture of the industry’s top products, major challenges, and plans for the future. Here are some of our favorite data points from the Survey:

1. Top solar brands

The Survey asked solar installers to name the brands of solar panels and solar inverters they used during 2022. Because many energy storage brands are so new, we asked installers about batteries they installed in 2022 or planned to install in 2023.

The responses to these questions provided a clear picture of the top brands in the industry in 2022.

Place Solar panel brand Inverter brand Energy storage brand
1 Qcells Enphase Enphase
2 REC SolarEdge Tesla
3 Canadian Solar Sol-Ark SolarEdge
4 Silfab SMA Generac
5 Jinko Fronius LG Energy Solution

Interestingly, all five of the solar panel brands represented in the list above are also part of SolarReviews’ top 10 solar panel brands of 2023.

2. Additional services offered by residential solar installers

The solar industry isn’t just about solar anymore. Many companies have expanded their offerings to include energy storage and EV chargers, and some even offer additional electrical work and roofing services. The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) will usher in a new residential paradigm that includes energy efficiency, home electrification, and backup power.

  • 81% of residential installers offered energy storage installation in 2022
  • 67% offered EV charger installation
  • 63% provided both energy storage and EV charger installation
  • 41% did their own electrician work

Even though many installers offered these additional services, they were not very popular in 2022. Among residential installations:

  • 21% included energy storage
  • 12% included roofing upgrades and/or replacements
  • 10% included EV chargers
  • 15% of systems were oversized to prepare for future EV charging
  • 9% of previous customers requested additional panels for EV charging

Next year, we’ll ask the same questions to see if adoption picks up. We anticipate that the switch to Net Billing in California will drive additional battery installations and also result in a slowdown of the solar installation business in the Golden State.

3. Growth across the industry

2022 was mostly a great year for solar companies. The industry continued to grow, and Congress passed the IRA with numerous benefits for manufacturers, installers, and developers.

Here are the numbers revealed by the Survey about growth and expansion:

  • 62% of all respondents expect to expand their business in 2023 because of the IRA
  • 65% of installers said they would take advantage of at least one new benefit of the IRA (such as tax credit adders and transferability)
  • 63% of residential solar installers reported increased demand in 2022
  • 73% of those installers expect to sell even more solar in 2023

4. Major challenges facing solar companies

The industry faces many challenges, including problems finding qualified workers, the increased cost of goods and financing, and supply chain issues. The overarching theme seems to be that demand still outstrips supply, but the need for workers is greater than the number of trained workers available.

  • 42% of installers said the high cost of financing was their primary barrier to success in 2022, and 71% of residential installers said customers were less willing to take a loan
  • 60% of all respondents reported supply chain issues of the same or worse severity in 2022 compared to 2021
  • 40% said there is not enough skilled labor in the workforce today

There were also some concerns that the IRA didn’t go far enough or wouldn’t do much to help businesses in 2023.

  • 82% of respondents said the IRA would not make it easier to find qualified workers
  • 75% said the IRA would not improve their ability to source equipment
  • 38% were waiting to see final guidance before deciding whether to take advantage of the IRA’s low-income incentives (guidance was released while collecting responses)
  • 34% reported they would not expand low-income offerings or the new incentives didn’t affect their business

Looking forward to 2023

The Survey results paint a picture of an industry still pushing toward a major breakout.

There are dozens of brands offering solar panels, inverters, and batteries, with no single brand showing dominance over any particular niche. Companies have huge opportunities to grow, but big impediments stand in the way of that growth. There is greatly increased demand but reluctance on the part of customers to finance solar purchases (with good reason).

2023 seems like it will be another year of incremental growth. Many companies have announced new manufacturing plants, but they will take time to build. New incentives and tax credit adders will drive some growth, but current IRS guidance has led some companies to take a wait-and-see approach to how they will address them.

One thing is certain: the future of the solar industry is bright, and the potential for growth is limited mainly by the time it takes to build new production capacity and the ability of the industry to find and attract workers. We’ll be there in early 2024 with another Solar Industry Survey, ready to assess the progress of the foregoing 12 months.

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 - Author of Solar Reviews

Ben Zientara

Solar Policy Analyst and Researcher

Ben Zientara is a writer, researcher, and solar policy analyst who has written about the residential solar industry, the electric grid, and state utility policy since 2013.

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