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Solar installations surged in 2023, marking a record-breaking first full year under the Inflation Reduction Act.

published: 2024-03-07 17:37

The U.S. solar industry saw a ground-breaking increase in 2023, adding a record-breaking 32.4 gigawatts (GW) of new electric generating capacity. This marked a 37% surge from the previous record set in 2021 and a 51% rise from 2022.

As per the U.S. Solar Market Insight 2023 Year in Review, published today by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and Wood Mackenzie, solar energy contributed to 53% of all new electric generating capacity added to the grid last year. This milestone signifies the first instance in 80 years where a renewable energy source accounted for over 50% of annual capacity additions.

By 2034, the total solar capacity in the United States is projected to reach 673 GW, sufficient to power over 100 million homes.

Solar module manufacturing capacity increased from 8.5 GW to 16.1 GW in 2023. However, the combination of record-low module prices and a challenging economic environment may pose difficulties for U.S. manufacturers in executing announced facility plans. In 2023, prices for monofacial and bifacial solar modules dropped by 26% and 31% respectively. The absence of operational ingot, wafer, or cell manufacturing facilities in the United States presents an opportunity for expansion.

All segments of the solar market experienced growth in 2023, elevating the total installed solar capacity in the U.S. to 177 GW. The utility-scale sector alone added 22.5 GW of new capacity, while nearly 800,000 Americans adopted solar energy for their homes.

The adoption of energy storage is on the rise nationwide. In 2023, solar + storage accounted for 13% of residential installations and 5% of non-residential installations. By 2024, storage is expected to be incorporated into 25% of new residential installations and 10% of non-residential installations.

Texas led the nation in new solar installations with 6.5 GW, surpassing California for the second time in three years. California's residential solar market is anticipated to face challenges in 2024 due to changes in net metering policies, resulting in a projected 36% decline across all segments in the state.

Colorado and Ohio entered the top 10 solar states in 2023 for the first time in over a decade, while Wisconsin made its inaugural appearance in the top 10. More than half of U.S. states now have at least 1 GW of total installed solar capacity.


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