The U.S. solar sector is poised for substantial growth in 2023, with a projected record increase of 32 gigawatts (GW) in production capacity, marking a 53% surge compared to the additional capacity in 2022. This expansion can be attributed to various factors, including the incentives for investment outlined in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).
As per the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) report, it is anticipated that the overall operational solar capacity in the United States will soar from the current 153 GW to 375 GW by 2028. This growth is expected to occur as supply chain challenges, which were exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictive trade policies, gradually diminish.
A significant catalyst for this growth is the increased investment in domestic solar manufacturing. Should all plans for new solar module factories come to fruition, the report suggests that U.S. solar module production could surge tenfold by 2026.
The Inflation Reduction Act, passed by the Biden administration in 2022, plays a pivotal role in incentivizing the expansion of the U.S. solar industry. The IRA allocates approximately $370 billion towards climate change and clean energy initiatives, including incentives aimed at boosting solar and wind power.
The report underscores the positive impact of the IRA on the U.S. solar industry, with a surge in announcements related to domestic module manufacturing and a prevailing sense of optimism within the sector. However, it also stresses the importance of effectively executing these plans to ensure a stable supply of solar modules in the U.S.
In February, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported that U.S. developers have intentions to incorporate 54.5 GW of new electric generating capacity in 2023, with over 50% of it being driven by solar energy sources.
Both the utility-scale and residential solar markets have been at the forefront of new capacity additions, with notable growth in residential solar installations, primarily influenced by changes in net metering rules in California.
Florida continues to be a prominent state in the U.S. solar energy landscape, ranking at the top in the first half of 2023 by installing 2.5 GW of new capacity.