Solar PV manufacturing and installation surge in U.S. in Q1: SEIA

By Editor


The United States has added 11 GW of new solar module manufacturing capacity in the first quarter of 2024. This marks the largest quarterly growth in solar manufacturing in American history.

The U.S. Solar Market Insight Q2 2024 report, released by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and Wood Mackenzie, reveals that the total U.S. solar module manufacturing capacity now exceeds 26 GW annually. In addition, the country installed 11.8 GW of new solar capacity, bringing the total to 200 GW.

New data from 2023 shows that over 40 GW of new solar capacity were added last year, and Wood Mackenzie projects another 40 GW will be installed 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.”

Massive growth in the utility-scale market is driving these record solar deployment figures, with nearly 10 GW of new capacity added in Q1. Florida and Texas led all states in new solar capacity for the quarter, with strong contributions from New Mexico and Ohio, which installed 686 and 546 megawatts (MW), respectively.

“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. “However, the solar industry faces several challenges to its continued growth, including availability of labor, high voltage equipment constraints, and continued trade policy uncertainty.”

The residential solar segment struggled, experiencing its worst quarter in two years due to policy changes in California. In contrast, the commercial and community solar markets remained steady year-over-year.

Total U.S. solar capacity is expected to double over the next five years, reaching 438 GW by 2029. Solar energy accounted for 75 percent of electricity generation capacity added to the U.S. power grid in early 2024, with installations reaching a quarterly record.

The U.S. solar industry benefited from increased panel availability and supportive federal and state policies aimed at boosting clean energy on the electric grid to meet climate-driven emissions goals. Supply chain bottlenecks eased, and the cost of solar panels fell after President Biden implemented a two-year moratorium on imported panels suspected of being produced with forced labor in China.

Between June 2023 and March 2024, the U.S. imported 49 GW of solar modules. Domestic solar panel manufacturing capacity surged to 26.6 GW in the first three months of 2024, up from 15.6 GW the previous quarter. Florida, followed by Texas, California, and Nevada, saw the highest number of panel installations, with utility-scale solar making up the majority of additions.

Home solar installations fell 25 percent year-over-year and 18 percent quarter-over-quarter, largely due to rising interest rates and a slowdown in California’s rooftop solar market. The commercial solar sector remained roughly flat quarter-over-quarter.

The United States is on track to install roughly the same amount of solar capacity in 2024 as in 2023, a record year with nearly 40 GW of additions. News Desk

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