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The US added 13.3 GW of solar in 2019, beating wind and gas in new capacity

The good news is that 2019 was a remarkable year for solar in the U.S.

The bad news is, well, you know what the bad news is.

Wood Mackenzie and SEIA put out their 2019 U.S. Solar Market Insight, but the report doesn’t/can’t account for the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on the solar industry in 2020 and its supply chains, component costs and project timelines.

Here are five takeaways from the way the U.S. solar industry was before the outbreak.

  • The U.S. solar industry installed 13.3 GW of PV last year, 23% more than in 2018.
  • The U.S. added more than 2.8 GW of residential solar in 2019.
  • Cumulative operating photovoltaic capacity in the U.S. now exceeds 76 GW, up from 1 GW at the end of 2009.
  • Solar accounted for nearly 40% of all new electricity generating capacity added in the U.S. in 2019
  • The contracted utility PV pipeline is a record high 48.1 GW.

Prior to the outbreak, Wood Mackenzie had forecast 47% annual growth in 2020, with nearly 20 GW of installations expected to be added in a record year. No one would think that forecast likely anymore.

Abigail Ross Hopper, CEO of SEIA, cited the solar industry’s resilience in the face of Section 201 tariffs. Hopper said, “We know anecdotally that the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting delivery schedules and our ability to meet project completion deadlines based partly on new labor shortages. This once again is testing our industry’s resilience, but we believe, over the long run, we are well positioned to outcompete incumbent generators in the Solar+ Decade and to continue growing our market share.”

Source: pv magazine