Breiter Planet Properties Blog

US government expects 24 GW of new solar this year

Jan 21, 2020 6:00:00 PM / by John Weaver, pv magazine

The U.S. appears all set for a record year for solar.

Image: TechPhotoGal/Pixabay


The Energy Information Administration (EIA) agency of the U.S. Department of Energy expects 13.4 GW (AC) of utility scale solar power capacity and 5.1 GW (AC) of small scale PV to be installed in the United States this year – an anticipated 95% increase on last year.

The 18.5 GW (AC) total, with a standard 1.3:1 DC-AC ratio, suggests 24 GW (DC) of solar will be installed. The previous 12-month record, set in 2016 as an investment tax credit was about to expire, was just under 15 GW (DC) of new solar. And the EIA expects the annual total to increase to 25.9 GW (DC) next year.

The government body also expects a net negative volume of fossil fuel capacity installations this year, a situation which has occurred every year since fossils peaked in the U.S. in 2006.

A third piece of good news is the 18.5 GW worth of wind generation capacity that is expected this year. Between wind and solar, the EIA expects 32 GW of new generation facilities – which would mark a true record year for the United States.

New solar peak

In 2016, there was a peak of 11.2 GW (AC) of new solar followed by a decline in 2017 due to the investment tax credit hangover, itself then followed by two years of gains. The anticipated 2020 and 2021 explosion will be heavily driven by a jump in annual utility scale PV volume, from 5.9 GW (AC) to 13.4 GW (AC).

But the massive growth projections are not just limited to large scale solar projects. The EIA sees small PV growing from 3.6 GW (AC) last year to slightly more than 5 GW (AC). That will mostly be driven by the residential market but also by commercial systems in a segment expected to expand again after contracting last year.

The utility scale data aligns with a year-old report by S&P Global Market Intelligence which suggested more than 12 GW (AC) of utility scale solar might get deployed this year. Coupled with a recent Wood Mackenzie Renewables & Power report suggesting energy storage deployment could triple from last year to this – and more than double from 2020 to next year – it is clear the clean energy industry is on a roll.

Breiter Planet Properties is excited to contribute to these projections for 2020. We specialize in financing and developing solar projects in the United States, as well as across the globe. We work with homeowners, business owners, and land owners to help them join in the energy transition. Reach out to us to see how we can work together.



Topics: Renewable Energy, Solar Energy, Solar, Residential Solar, Commercial Solar, Policy, United States, Energy Storage, Markets, Utility-Scale PV, Installations, Decarbonize, Power Generation, Fossil Fuels, Coal, Legislation, ITC, Decarbonization, Infrastructure, Energy Transition, Solar Panels, Energy Generation, Industrial Solar, 2020, utility scale storage

John Weaver, pv magazine

Written by John Weaver, pv magazine

John Fitzgerald Weaver is a solar developer; known digitally as the 'Commercial Solar Guy.' For the past decade, as project developer and installer, he’s sold and managed 50+ solar projects, ranging in size from 5kW to 1500kW, with occasional involvement in larger sizes. He’s been involved in many aspects of the solar supply chain –- as a company founder, developer, project manager, manufacturer, permit runner, salesman, contractor, financier and most recently - as a reporter. In his free time the 48 4,000s of New Hampshire are to be climbed, and a scotch is to be enjoyed.

Subscribe to Email Updates

Lists by Topic

see all

Posts by Topic

See all

Recent Posts