Tesla’s solar installs drop, but battery business is booming

Tesla’s once-leading solar business is in decline, according to the latest figures from the automaker’s fourth-quarter 2023 earnings report.

Tesla’s solar deployments cratered 36% to a total of 223 megawatts (MW) last year, down from 348 MW in 2022. Although high interest rates slowed solar growth in some markets, Tesla’s shrinkage came as the United States notched a record year overall; the U.S. added 33 gigawatts of solar capacity in 2023, per estimates from SEIA, a solar industry group.

It was a bad year for Tesla solar — its worst since 2020. But if we zoom in, the final quarter of 2023 looks worse still. In Q4 2023, Tesla’s solar deployments dropped 59% year-over-year to 41 MW — down from 100 MW in Q4 2022. 

However, Tesla’s energy generation and storage business is comparatively booming (surprise, surprise). The company said its 2023 energy storage deployments — which include Powerwall home batteries and utility-scale Megapacks, topped 14,724 megawatt hours (MWh), up 125% from the year earlier.

Tesla commented that it expects some volatility in energy deployments quarter-by-quarter, and the firm’s Q4 results reflect this. The automaker deployed 3,202 MWh in Q4 2023; down compared to the prior three quarters, but up from Q4 2022.

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