According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), shipments of solar panels reached a record-high 16.4 million kilowatts (kW) in 2019. The former record of 13.5 million kW was set in 2016. Imports, exports, and modules produced and sold domestically all qualify as solar panel shipments; modules shipped for resale are excluded.

“These shipments have steadily increased since 2006, driven by significant price declines and policy incentives that encourage solar PV installations,” the report stated. In 2017 and 2018, policy reforms and import tariffs caused shipments to decline slightly.

Solar panels convert light particles – called photons – from the sun, transforming them into electricity that can be used to power electrical grids. They are used in a wide variety of settings, including both business and residential use.

Since 2006, the cost of solar panels has been steadily declining, thus helping propel the growth of shipments. The average price of a solar panel module shipment in 2016 was $3.50 per watt. In 2019, the price decreased to .40¢ per peak watt. The upsurge in residential solar panel demand is somewhat due to homeowner incentives such as the California Solar Initiative, the New York Megawatt Block program, and other state-level policies.

“Higher module efficiency, greater labor productivity, and lower supply chain costs are largely responsible for the declines in the average value of solar PV modules,” the report stated. The price of solar panel modules and components has declined due to both global surplus (reduced demand in China) and competitive costs within the industry.

A report published in February by claims that demand for solar industry installations will double by 2023.

Read the entire report by the EIA to learn more about the record-high sales of solar panels.

J&P Electrical is a full-service electrical equipment company. At J&P, we supply contractors, end-users, and supply houses with new surplus, quality reconditioned, and obsolete electrical equipment. We also purchase a wide range of electrical equipment, such as bus plugs, ducts, panel switches, substations, and transformers. Call us at 877-844-5514 or visit us at

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