The US installed more solar in Q1 2024 than it did in all of 2018


In Q1 2024, the US saw the largest quarter of solar manufacturing growth in its history, bringing its total installed capacity to 200 GW.

A record-setting 11.8 gigawatts (GW) of new solar panel manufacturing capacity came online in the US during Q1 2024, making up 75% of all new electricity-generating capacity added to the US grid in that period.

According to the US Solar Market Insight Q2 2024 report released today by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and Wood Mackenzie, total US solar panel manufacturing capacity increased to 26.6 GW in Q1 2024 compared to 15.6 GW in Q4 2023. Once this capacity fully ramps up, it will be enough to supply about 70% of US demand.

The report also contains new data showing that the US added over 40 GW of new solar capacity in 2023 – more than initially reported. Wood Mackenzie now projects that the US solar industry will install another 40 GW in 2024.

“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.”

Utility-scale solar saw record solar deployment figures as the segment added nearly 10 GW of new capacity in Q1. Florida (2.7 GW) and Texas (2.6 GW) saw strong utility-scale growth and led all states for new solar capacity in Q1. Other states like New Mexico and Ohio also had strong quarters, installing 686 and 546 megawatts (MW), respectively.

“The US 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 US residential solar segment is feeling the full weight of bad policy decisions in California and experienced its worst quarter in two years. The commercial and community solar markets remained steady year-over-year.

Total US solar capacity is expected to more than double over the next five years, growing to 438 GW by 2029.

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