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New U.S. Solar Capacity Additions Break Record

New solar generation capacity installations in the United States rose to a record high in the first quarter of the year, Wood Mackenzie and the Solar Energy Industries Association reported.

Installations of new solar capacity over the period reached 11.8 GW, SEIA and Wood Mac reported, which brought the total to 200 GW. Wood Mackenzie has forecast that the full year would see total solar capacity additions of 40 GW, equal to the amount of new capacity added in 2023.

“This quarter proves that new federal investments in clean energy are revitalizing American manufacturing and strengthening our nation’s energy economy,” SEIA president and CEO Abigail Ross Hopper said.

“Whether it’s a billion-dollar investment in a nearby solar project or a new manufacturing plant employing hundreds of local workers, the solar and storage industry is uplifting communities in every state across this country.”

In a separate report, however, Wood Mackenzie analysts warned that the energy transition in the United States could slow down in case Donald Trump wins the November vote.

“A victory for former President Donald Trump in the election in November would mean new policy priorities and an immediate deceleration in support for decarbonisation,” Wood Mac warned. “Incentives for electric vehicle (EV) sales would likely be cut, while the growth of green hydrogen and carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) could falter.”

The Solar Energy Industries Association, meanwhile, boasted that imports of solar panels into the U.S. had grown to 49 GW between June 2023 and March 2024, while local panel manufacturing capacity had added 11 GW over the first quarter of the year to reach 26.6 GW.

Florida, Texas, and California were the three busiest solar installation destinations in the country. Most of the newly installed capacity was utility-scale. Household solar installations, however, fell, by a sizable 25% on the year and 18% on the final quarter of 2023.

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By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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