NewsRecord-breaking growth expected: US to add nearly 20GW of utility-scale solar in...

Record-breaking growth expected: US to add nearly 20GW of utility-scale solar in 2023

Major Growth in Solar Installations Across Leading States

The latest data reveals a significant surge in new solar installations, especially in some of the top states for renewable energy. This indicates a promising outlook for further solar expansion in well-established markets. Out of the 15 states that added the most renewable energy capacity in 2023, solar dominated the additions in 10 states.

Texas Emerges as a Solar Powerhouse

The solar sector in Texas has emerged as a standout, with an impressive addition of over 5.6GW of new solar capacity. This surpasses any other state’s installations across all renewable technologies and even eclipses the combined renewable capacity additions in Arizona, Florida, and Colorado. Recent figures from the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) highlight Texas, Arizona, Florida, and Colorado as the fastest-growing states for solar power. This growth trend signifies a positive shift for the Texas solar sector, which is striving for significant expansion in power generation capacity.

Solar Leads the Way as Storage Capacity Grows

The growth in new solar capacity aligns with an upward trend in storage capacity. In 2023, developers brought online 7.9GW of new storage capacity, nearly doubling the previous year’s installations. This milestone marks a year where both solar and storage outpaced the capacity additions from the preceding year. However, the wind sector saw a slight decline in new installations, dropping from 8.8GW to 6.4GW year-over-year.

Renewable Energy Landscape Shifts

While wind continued to play a vital role in meeting US electricity demand, solar and storage’s momentum has been gaining traction. The renewable energy market is witnessing dynamic changes, with investors potentially shifting focus towards solar and storage projects amid challenges faced by the wind sector, such as high interest rates and supply chain constraints.

Solar Surpasses Wind in New Projects

Recent data indicates a noticeable disparity in new solar versus wind projects commissioned in the US in recent years. An uptick in storage projects, exemplified by innovative ventures like the 300MW Moss Landing III and Desert Peak projects, underscores a transformative phase in the US storage sector. Noteworthy projects, such as the Edwards & Sanborn solar-plus-storage project in California with a massive 3.3GWh storage capacity, highlight the sector’s evolution towards sustainability.

Solar and Storage Projects on the Rise

The final quarter of 2023 witnessed a remarkable growth spurt in solar and storage capacity installations. Solar capacity installations surged from around 5GW to approximately 11GW, while storage capacity additions quadrupled to 4GW during the same period. This uptrend signals a promising outlook for the solar and storage sectors.

Solar Projects Driving Growth

A significant number of solar projects are currently in the development pipeline, indicating sustained growth potential for the solar sector. In the advanced development stage, solar projects dominate with 52.9GW of new capacity, outstripping other renewable sources. This pipeline highlights the sector’s promising trajectory and underscores the crucial role solar energy is poised to play in the renewable energy landscape.

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