Solar Industry Sets Records For 2020

Despite the Covid 19 Pandemic, the U.S. solar market experienced significant growth in 2020.

According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the industry grew by 43 percent and installed more than 19 gigawatts of solar electric capacity in 2020. Also notable is the fact that, for the second year in a row, solar power was the largest source of new electric-generating capacity.

Seia new electric capacity
SEIA – Past 10 Years New Electric Capacity Trend

“After a slowdown in Q2 due to the pandemic, the solar industry innovated and came roaring back to continue our trajectory as America’s leading source of new energy,” – SEIA president Abigail Ross Hopper. Case in point is the fact that 4th quarter of 2020 saw the most solar installed compared to any prior quarter on record. 2020 beats the previous best year for solar, 2016, by almost 5 gigawatts.

Some of the key figures from SEIA’s report include;

  • The extension of the 26 percent Investment Tax Credit has lead to a 17 percent increase in the expected amount of solar to be installed from 2021-2025.
  • The final quarter of business in 2020 saw an impressive 6 gigawatts of industrial scale solar installed. This is part of a significant 69 gigawatts of utility scale solar projects currently in the pipeline.
  • Residential solar saw an increase of 11 percent over 2019 with 3.1 gigawatts installed. This is rather impressive considering the initial slow down due to the pandemic.

This amazing growth trend is predicted to continue over the next 10 years. It is expected that in that time period, the U.S. will add 324 gigawatts of solar capacity, bringing the overall total installed capacity to 419 gigawatts. To put this into perspective, this predicted growth will have the upcoming decade responsible for almost 80 percent of total installed solar by 2030.

Now, more than ever, word is beginning to spread that solar power truly is affordable. Not only is it very affordable, but homeowners everywhere are starting to realize how much they can save by going solar. This news is a very large part of the amazing year that we just saw for solar energy in the U.S. It’s also why the SEIA and many other solar organizations are expecting an accelerated adoption of solar at all scales in the coming years.