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US increases solar panel manufacturing capacity by 71% in Q1 2024

In a landmark development reported by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and Wood Mackenzie, the United States has experienced a record-breaking increase in solar panel manufacturing capacity. According to the U.S. Solar Market Insight Q2 2024 report, the first quarter of 2024 alone saw an addition of 11 gigawatts (GW) of new solar module manufacturing capacity, marking the largest quarter of solar manufacturing growth in American history. As a result, the annual US solar module manufacturing capacity now stands at over 26 GW.

The robust expansion in manufacturing aligns with a significant overall increase in solar installations, adding up to 11.8 GW of new solar capacity in Q1. This surge has elevated the total US solar capacity to a milestone of 200 GW. Leading this growth are states like Florida and Texas, which have surged ahead with strong utility-scale solar installations. In contrast, California has encountered setbacks due to recent policy changes, affecting its solar project deployments.

The US Solar Market Insight Q2 2024 report highlights the transformative impact of federal investments in clean energy, which have played a crucial role in revitalizing American manufacturing and fortifying the national energy economy. According to SEIA president and CEO Abigail Ross Hopper, these investments are not only boosting manufacturing but are also uplifting communities by creating numerous jobs and fostering economic development across various states.


Source: SEIA and Wood Mackenzie


Despite the optimistic outlook, the industry faces challenges such as labour shortages, high voltage equipment constraints, and ongoing uncertainties in trade policies. These factors could impact the continued growth trajectory of the solar sector. Nevertheless, the U.S. solar industry is poised for further expansion, with projections indicating a potential doubling of total solar capacity to 438 GW by 2029.

Florida and Texas continue to lead in new installations, significantly contributing to the utility-scale market's massive growth, which saw nearly 10 GW of new capacity in the first quarter. Other states like New Mexico and Ohio also demonstrated strong performance, adding 686 megawatts (MW) and 546 MW, respectively.

Conversely, the residential solar sector in California has been heavily impacted by policy shifts, marking its worst quarter in two years. However, the commercial and community solar markets have shown resilience, maintaining steady growth year-over-year.

As the US continues to embrace renewable energy, the solar industry remains a vital component of the nation's strategy to achieve energy independence and environmental sustainability.


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