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California Solar Industry Faces Cash Crunch Amid Policy Change

  • About 63% of solar installer members in California are facing cash flow issues following a new policy that reduced homeowner incentives.
  • Rooftop solar system sales in the state have plummeted by 85% compared to the previous year, causing some companies to close or leave the state.
  • The downturn in the green energy sector, including solar, is expected to persist well into 2024, affecting investments in clean energy ETFs.
Solar

The solar industry in California is facing significant headwinds following the implementation of a new policy in April, which reduced incentives that had encouraged homeowners to install solar systems. 

Bloomberg reports the California Solar & Storage Association has found about 63% of its 400 solar installer members have reported cash flow issues because the new policy crushed consumer demand. 

Since last April, sales of rooftop solar systems across the state have crashed 85% in the most recent months of 2023 compared to similar periods one year before, according to solar firm Ohm Analytics. 

On Wednesday, California Solar and Storage Association Executive Director Bernadette Del Chiaro told an audience at the Intersolar North America conference in San Diego that 25 to 30 solar companies have already closed shop or abandoned the state. 

"We are worried about the next two months," she said. "We think a lot more fallout may be coming." 

Besides a reduction in incentives, higher interest rates and expensive panels have also curbed demand. This means that solar installers have a dismal pipeline of work through the year's first half.  

Meanwhile, a Bloomberg MLIV Pulse survey of professional and retail investors from late last year found the green energy downturn will last well into 2024. 

iShares Global Clean Energy ETF has nearly roundtriped Covid lows. 

The ownership portfolio of the iShares Global Clean Energy ETF shows solar, wind, and hydrogen stocks have been clubbed like a baby seal over the past year. 

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Leave a comment
  • George Doolittle on January 19 2024 said:
    Falling stock price isn't reflective of a bad business nor is a soaring stock price reflective of a great business as well. California is just one State as well. Some of this material to include battery storage is very much on sale at the moment. So cheap prices for battery electric vehicles continue to remain low and heading lower. Interesting story about nuclear batteries for consumer electronics that would pretty much end the need for ever having to have chargers if that plays out or at least pressure the Industry to create vastly improved charging work. Aptera doing great work with solar power as a vehicle power source. No sign that is abating in California.

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