U.S. solar installations will be flat this year -report

U.S. solar installations are expected to be flat this year compared with 2017, according to a report released on Tuesday.

Weakness in several major residential markets and slower growth in big projects are seen as factors.

The solar market, which for much of the last decade experienced runaway growth, is expected to be about the same in 2017, according to a report by GTM Research.

The report was commissioned by the Solar Energy Industries trade group, according to Reuters.

Government policies that support renewable energy and a sharp fall in the price of the technology propelled expansion.

The solar market fell 30 percent in 2017.

That was mainly due to developers completing a slew of projects in 2016, ahead of what was supposed to be an expiration of a key tax credit, which was extended.

GTM Research raised its forecast for utility-scale installations by 2 percent, saying 2018 projects are relatively insulated from import tariffs on panels implemented by the Trump administration this year because many developers secured supplies prior to their implementation.

Most of the impact of the tariffs will be seen next year and beyond, GTM said.

That market will still grow next year, by about 5 percent, but will be flat in 2021 and 2022 due to tariff-related project delays, the report said.