Corporates Almost Match Utilities As Solar Installs Hit New High In the US

A report by the American Clean Power Association (ACPA) highlights the key role played by corporate demand in solar power, with the 2020 numbers as reference. Residential rooftop continues to provide a strong support to the market on the back of state subsidies.

In 2020, the amount of solar installed in the US was 4000% higher than was installed in 2010, with 8,894 MW of utility-scale solar projects being added.

In the US, solar has been pushed on the back of the benefits it brings not only in reducing energy emissions, but its capacity to create local jobs, and now, even manufacturing back to the US. The high push for corporate and residential means jobs creation is even higher than what, say, India is witnessing with its focus on utility scale power.

In 2020, the US installed 26 GW of renewable power, with utility solar, wind power and battery storage capacity now exceeding a combined 170GW. They also accounted for 78% of new power installations in 2020.

In this mix, corporate firms stepped in to provide a big push, with total corporate backed capacity creation exceeding 10 GW. At a total of 10,417MW versus 10,854MW, respectively for utility backed capacity. Thus, non-utility share of contracted clean power capacity reached an all-time high of 46%.

The report highlights how the clean energy industry generated  employment for 415,000 workers and invested US$334 billion in the economy since 2005. With 90GW of clean energy projects currently underway, representing investments upwards of US$120 billion, this trend is likely to only accelerate, it predicts

Among states in the US, Texas (37,443MW) has installed by far the most clean power capacity, followed by California (20,354MW), Iowa (11,394MW), Oklahoma (9,395MW), and Kansas (7,058MW).

Last year, Texas also the most clean power capacity (6,320 MW). Other additions included 2,193 MW by California, 1,267MW by Florida, 1,218 MW by Iowa, etc.

As for ACPA, it recently encouraged the US renewables industry to adopt a “once-in-a-generation-opportunity” to create around 600,000 jobs while striving to meet its climate goals.

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Prasanna Singh

Prasanna has been a media professional for over 20 years. He is the Group Editor of Saur Energy International

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