The US solar industry installed a record 19.2 GW DC capacity in 2020. This emerges from the report on the US Solar Market Insight 2020 Annual Report recently published by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and Wood Mackenzie.
For the second year in a row, Solar led all technologies to add new power generation capacity, which is 43% of the mix. According to Wood Mackenzie's 10-year forecast, the US solar industry will install a cumulative new capacity of 324 GW DC to reach a total of 419 GW DC over the next decade.
“After slowing down in the second quarter due to the pandemic, the solar industry innovated and returned to continue on its path as the leading new energy source in the country,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, President and CEO of SEIA. “The forecast shows that the equivalent of one in eight US households will have solar energy by 2030, but we still have a long way to go to achieve our goals in the Solar + Decade. This report makes it clear that smart policies work. The actions we take now will determine the pace of our growth and determine whether we use solar to fuel our economy and manage this climate moment. “
The 8 GW direct current from new installations in the fourth quarter of 2020 marks the largest quarter in the history of US solar energy. For perspective, the US solar market added a new capacity of 7.5 GW DC in 2015. New capacity expansions in 2020 mean an increase of more than 40% compared to 2019 and break the previous record of the US solar market of 15.1 GW DC in 2016. By 2030, Wood Mackenzie predicts that the total solar fleet in operation will be more than will quadruple.
California, Texas, and Florida are the top three states for annual solar capacity expansion for the second year in a row, and Virginia is joining them as the fourth state to install more than 1GW of DC solar PV. In 2020, 27 states installed a new solar capacity of over 100 MW direct current, a new record.
- The use in residential areas increased by 11% compared to 2019 and reached a record level of 3.1 GW. That was less than the 18% annual growth in 2019 as residential complexes were hit hard by the pandemic in the first half of 2020
- Non-residential facilities decreased by 4% from 2019, with 2 GW installed. The pandemic affected this segment through delayed project connections and longer development times
- In the fourth quarter of 2020, historical projects on a supply scale of 6.3 GW DC were installed, which corresponds to an annual total of almost 14 GW DC
- In the fourth quarter of 2020, a total of 5 GW DC for new purchase agreements for solar energy were announced, which increased the volume of project announcements in 2020 to 30.6 GW DC and the entire contractually agreed supply-scale pipeline to 69 GW DC