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U.S. Solar Market Insight


Updated June 6, 2024

The US solar industry installed 11.8 gigawatts-direct current (GWdc) of capacity in the first quarter of 2024, the second-best quarter for the industry, behind the last quarter of 2023. The utility-scale segment had a remarkable quarter, putting 9.8 GWdc of projects in the ground – more than the annual total for this segment as recently as 2019.  

The distributed solar segments did not perform as strongly. Residential solar shrank by 25% year-over-year as the segment continued to struggle with high interest rates and the transition to net billing in California. With 1.3 GWdc installed, it was the segment’s lowest quarter since Q1 2022. The commercial and community sectors were relatively flat year-over-year, installing 434 MWdc and 279 MWdc, respectively. The commercial sector is diversifying – newer states are growing but are offset by declines in mature markets. Community solar relies heavily on the creation of new state programs and policies to generate growth in new markets. While there’s been progress on legislation in several states, new policies have been slow to cross the finish line. Furthermore, the promise of future market growth in California withered away with the March decision by the California Public Service Commission (CPUC) to reject a proposed new program (more on this in the full report).

Overall, photovoltaic (PV) solar accounted for 75% of all new electricity-generating capacity additions in the first quarter of 2024, remaining the dominant form of new generating capacity in the US.

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Click here to read the Executive Summary of the latest Solar Market Insight Report. The full report includes all the data and analysis from our Executive Summary plus incisive, state-level breakdowns of installations, costs, manufacturing and demand projections. To learn more about the Solar Market Insight Report series, click here

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