Renewables

U.S. Solar Sector Shows Record-Setting Growth

A new report from two leading energy industry groups said a record 11 GW of new solar power module manufacturing capacity entered service during the first three months of this year, representing the largest quarter of solar manufacturing growth in U.S. history.

The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and Wood Mackenzie in their U.S. Solar Market Insight Q2 2024 report released June 6 said that total U.S. solar module manufacturing capacity is now more than 26 GW annually. The report said the U.S. now has about 200 GW of installed solar power generation capacity, including 11.8 GW of new capacity this year—second only to the fourth quarter of 2023—after adding more than 40 GW of new generation in 2023.

Wood Mackenzie projects that the U.S. solar industry will install another 40 GW of generation capacity this year.

“This quarter proves that new federal investments in clean energy are revitalizing American manufacturing and strengthening our nation’s energy economy,” said SEIA president and CEO Abigail Ross Hopper. “Whether it’s a billion-dollar investment in a nearby solar project or a new manufacturing plant employing hundreds of local workers, the solar and storage industry is uplifting communities in every state across this country.”

The U.S. added almost 10 GW of new utility-scale solar power generation capacity in the first quarter of this year, led by new installations in Texas and Florida.

“The U.S. solar industry continues to show strength in terms of deployments,” said Michelle Davis, head of global solar at Wood Mackenzie and lead author of the report. “At the same time, the solar industry faces a number of challenges to its continued growth including availability of labor, high-voltage equipment constraints, and continued trade policy uncertainty.”

The report said that total U.S. solar capacity is expected to double over the next five years, reaching 438 GW by 2029.

Darrell Proctor is a senior associate editor for POWER (@POWERmagazine).

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