USA Expected to See Record Number of Solar Installations in 2023

According to a report jointly released on Thursday by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and Wood Mackenzie, the US solar market is poised for a resurgence in 2023. Projections indicate that new solar installations are set to surge by 52% on an annual basis, reaching a historic milestone of 32 GW for the entire year.

During the second quarter, the new solar capacity amounted to 5.6 GW DC, marking a notable 20% year-over-year increase. However, it’s worth noting that this figure represents an 8% decline compared to the first quarter of 2023.

Wood Mackenzie’s forecast anticipates substantial growth in the United States’ overall solar capacity, which is expected to rise from its current 153 GW to a substantial 375 GW by 2028. This expansion is attributed to the expected resolution of supply chain challenges and the implementation of policies outlined in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).

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Michelle Davis, the head of Global Solar at Wood Mackenzie, stated, “since the IRA’s passage, there has been a palpable surge of optimism within the solar industry. Numerous announcements regarding domestic module manufacturing have emerged, promising a more stable supply of solar modules in the future.” If all the planned capacity expansions come to fruition, the United States will increase its module manufacturing capacity from 10.6 GW to an impressive 108.5 GW by 2026.

In the second quarter, the utility-scale segment achieved an installation of 3.3 GW, marking a 22% increase compared to the previous year. The residential segment rebounded strongly, setting a quarterly record with 1.8 GW of new installations. Notably, installations in California saw a boost leading up to the mid-April transition from net metering to net billing.

In terms of regional capacity installations in the first half of 2023, Florida took the lead with 2.5 GW, followed closely by California with over 1.6 GW and Texas with nearly 1.3 GW.