The U.S. solar industry grew 43% and installed a record 19.2 gigawatts (GWdc) of capacity in 2020, according to the U.S. Solar Market Insight 2020 Year-in-Review report, released today by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and Wood Mackenzie.
For the second year in a row, solar led all technologies in new electric-generating capacity added, accounting for 43%. According to Wood Mackenzie’s 10-year forecast, the U.S. solar industry will install a cumulative 324 GWdc of new capacity to reach a total of 419 GWdc over the next decade.
The 8 GWdc of new installations in Q4 2020 marks the largest quarter in U.S. solar history. For perspective, the U.S. solar market added 7.5 GWdc of new capacity in all of 2015. New capacity additions in 2020 represent a 43% increase from 2019 and breaks the U.S. solar market’s previous record of 15.1 GWdc set in 2016.
“After a slowdown in Q2 due to the pandemic, the solar industry innovated and came roaring back to continue our trajectory as America’s leading source of new energy,” said SEIA president and CEO Abigail Ross Hopper.
This is the first time Wood Mackenzie has released a long-term forecast (see below) as part of the U.S. Solar Market Insight report series. By 2030, Wood Mackenzie is forecasting that the total operating solar fleet will more than quadruple.