US solar power soars, chases wind and beats hydropower

In July, solar contributed 67.2% of new generation capacity, reaching a total share of 7.12%, according to a report

Big Zero Report 2023

In July, solar power in the US showed strong growth, according to data from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).

FERC reported that solar accounted for 67.2% of new US generation capacity added during July, totalling 1,824MW.

This increased solar’s share of total installed generating capacity in the US to 7.12%.

The EIA noted a 22.3% growth in solar-generated electricity compared to the same period the previous year.

This growth rate outpaced all other energy sources and was partially driven by a 26.6% expansion in electricity generated by small scale solar photovoltaics, analysts have said.

Solar-generated electricity for July reached 26,785GWh, comprising 6.2% of total electricity generated, according to the most recent data.

This surpassed hydropower and closely approached the electricity generated by utility-scale wind energy.

FERC’s projections suggest substantial additions to solar capacity between August 2023 and July 2026, with a “high probability” of 84,392MW.

Additionally, there could be up to 215,688MW of new solar capacity in the pipeline.

If these projections materialise, by mid-2026, solar power could represent 12.9% of the nation’s installed generating capacity, approaching coal’s capacity.

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