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US Exceeds 5 Million Solar Installations 

solar installations

The United States has surpassed five million solar installations with total installations increasing five-fold since 2016 according to data from the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and Wood Mackenzie. This achievement comes just eight years after reaching one million installations in 2016, which took 40 years to achieve since the first grid-connected solar installation in 1973. 

Over half of all U.S. solar installations have been added since 2020, with over 25% installed since the Inflation Reduction Act became law about 20 months ago. These installations are on homes, businesses, and large ground-mounted arrays across the country. The market continues to grow, with SEIA predicting solar installations will double to 10 million by 2030 and triple to 15 million by 2034. 

Solar Adoption in US Homes 

Homeowners are increasingly investing in solar to control energy costs. Currently, 7% of American homes have solar, a figure expected to grow to over 15% by 2030. The residential sector accounts for 97% of all U.S. solar installations and has set annual installation records for five consecutive years and 10 of the last 12 years. Currently, the United States has enough solar capacity to power 32.5 million households. By 2030, there will be 10 million residential solar systems in the U.S., more than double the current number.  

SEIA states that there were 36 GW of residential solar installed in the United States as of 2023. By 2034, U.S. solar capacity is projected to grow to 673 GW, enough to power more than 100 million homes according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).  

Solar Energy’s Rapid Expansion in the US 

The growth of solar energy in the United States has been remarkable over the past decade. In 2012, only California had over 25,000 solar systems installed. Today, 23 states and territories have surpassed that number, and 11 states and territories have over 100,000 solar systems installed. Over half of the U.S. states now have more than 1 GW of solar installed, compared to only three states a decade ago. America currently has enough solar installations to cover every residential rooftop in the Four Corners states: Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico. 

Today, 11 U.S. states and territories have over 100,000 solar systems installed. For the first time, solar accounted for over half of the new electricity generation capacity added in 2023, and by 2050, solar is projected to become the largest source of generating capacity on the U.S. grid. Additionally, the solar industry supports over 263,000 jobs across the United States. 

Integrating Energy Storage Systems 

As the adoption of solar energy accelerates, advancements in technology and integration with other energy solutions are also on the rise. One significant development in this area is the increasing inclusion of energy storage systems with residential solar installations. In 2023, 13% of residential solar installations included energy storage, and the attachment rate of energy storage to new distributed solar projects has tripled since 2018. By 2028, it is expected that 26% of residential solar installations will include storage, about double the current rate. 

Solar Energy’s Environmental Impact 

The environmental benefits of solar energy in the United States are profound. America’s solar fleet displaces 198 million metric tons of CO2 annually. The residential solar market alone displaces 37 million metric tons of CO2 per year. The annual climate impact of American solar is equivalent to planting 3.3 billion trees, about as many trees as there are in the entire state of Kentucky.  

The 5 million solar installations in the U.S. have reduced emissions equivalent to 22 billion gallons of gasoline, enough to travel to the sun and back nearly 3,000 times in a traditional internal combustion engine vehicle. The 198 million metric tons of CO2 displaced by the solar industry is equivalent to closing 53 coal-fired plants, about one-quarter of the total coal plants operating in the U.S. This climate impact offsets the emissions of 12 million Americans, greater than the population of New York City and Los Angeles combined. 

Stay tuned to EG4 Electronics’s blog for more news about developments in the solar energy industry. 

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The U.S. has over 5 million solar installations. Learn about the rapid growth, future projections, and environmental impact of solar energy.

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