Solar tops 50% of new US power generation for first time

By Jack Quinn | 03/06/2024 06:39 AM EST

Headwinds loom after record solar energy installations in the United States last year.

Solar panels in Texas.

Solar panels in Texas. Mark Felix/AFP via Getty Images

Solar energy accounted for more than half of new U.S. electric generating capacity for the first time ever in 2023, according to an industry report released Wednesday.

The report by consulting firm Wood Mackenzie and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) highlights the impact of incentives in 2022’s Inflation Reduction Act on the pace of solar energy deployment. It also identifies potential hurdles that remain for the renewable energy sector.

“We must protect and optimize the policies that are driving these investments and creating jobs, and the stakes in the upcoming election couldn’t be higher,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, the CEO of SEIA, in a statement.


Last year saw a record year in terms of new U.S. solar power generating capacity as 32.4 gigawatts were added to the grid, up 51 percent from the additions in 2022. The 2023 total also marked an increase of 37 percent from the previous record set in 2021.