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The United States surpasses 2 million solar installations

U.S. solar soars to new heights. Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables forecasts solar installations to double by 2023.

Timeline of events

  • 2016 - United States hits first million solar installations, a milestone 40 years in the making
  • 2019 - United States tops two million installations, just three years later
  • 2023 - United States will surpass four million solar installations

The U.S. is now home to more than 2 million solar PV installations, Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) announced today. The mark comes just three years after the industry completed its 1 millionth installation, a feat that took 40 years to accomplish.

The U.S. solar market by the numbers

Wood Mackenzie forecasts that there will be 3 million installations in 2021 and 4 million in 2023, continuing the swift rise of solar.

California represented 51 percent of the first million installations but accounted for 43 percent of the second million. This is in large part due to a growing residential sector that is rapidly diversifying across state markets. South Carolina, for instance, was an emerging market in 2016 with 1,160 cumulative installations. Today, the state is home to more than 18,000 solar systems and is expected to add 22,000 systems over the next five years.

The leading states

Other fast-growing states over the last three years include Texas, Utah, Florida, Rhode Island, and Maryland, which combined have grown from around 50,000 installations to more than 200,000. Looking ahead, Illinois will see cumulative installations increase from 4,000 today to nearly 100,000 by 2024. While California will continue to lead the nation in installations, the remaining top 10 state markets will see faster growth. Nearly 750,000 installations are expected in those markets over the next 5 years, compared to 500,000 installations over the last 5 years.

According to our latest forecasts, by 2024, there will be on average, one solar installation per minute. That’s up from one installation every 10 minutes in 2010.

Michelle Davis

Senior Analyst, Solar

Michelle Davis is a senior solar analyst with a focus on the downstream US distributed solar market

View Michelle Davis's full profile

The United States is at least the third nation that's now home to more than 2 million solar installations. Australia hit the milestone in late 2018, and Wood Mackenzie notes that Japan topped 2 million back in September 2014.

The news comes via the preliminary data release of the Q2 U.S. Solar Market Insight Report. Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables solar customers can access the data here.

Want to learn more about accessing ongoing solar research and data? Email power@woodmac.com for a demo and pricing information.

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U.S. Solar Market Insight: Q2 2019

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