The U.S. installed 10,600 megawatts of solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity in 2018, according to a new report from Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables and the Solar Energy Industries Association (Seia). 

The total solar installed is down 2% compared to 2017, Kallanish Energy reports. Overall, in 2018, solar PV accounted for 29% of new electricity generating capacity additions, a lower share compared to 2017 due to a surge in new natural gas-fire power plants in early 2018.

“The solar industry experienced growing pains in 2018, in large part due to the unnecessary tariffs that were imposed on solar cells and modules, but this report still finds significant reason for optimism,” said SEIA’s president and CEO, Abigail Ross Hopper.

“The total amount of solar installed in America is on track to more than double in the next five years, proving solar’s resiliency and its economic strength. It’s clear, this next decade is going to be one of significant growth.”

Total installed PV capacity in the U.S. is expected to rise by 14% in 2019. Annual installations are projected to reach 15,800 MW in 2021, prior to the expiration of the residential federal Investment Tax Credit (Itc) and a drop in the commercial tax credit to 10% for projects not yet under construction.

Looking at individual state installations, California once again was tops, installing over 3,300 MW of capacity, followed by Texas and North Carolina, which installed almost 996 and 907 MW, respectively. 

The U.S. is now home to over 64,000 MW of installed capacity, enough to power more than 12 million homes.


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