Harnessing the Sun: Record Solar Energy Growth in 2023 Set to Double in 2024

Hello, fellow solar enthusiasts! Today, I am excited to chat about some optimistic projections that just rolled out from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) that point to a sunnier future – pun intended. If you’ve been considering solar panels for your home or investing in a solar array for your home, then this is the best time to make the leap.

According to the EIA’s Preliminary Monthly Electric Generator Inventory, we can expect a significant surge in electric generation capacity in 2024, with nearly 63 GW of new capacity. Now, that’s far more than the 40 GW added in 2023 – and that was already a record-breaking year.

What’s truly heartening is that solar and batteries are leading the charge (no pun intended) this round. For the first time, solar represents 58% of expected capacity additions in 2024, with batteries taking up a respectable second place at 23%. The numbers are truly mind-blowing: we’re talking about 36.4 GW of solar and 14.3 GW of battery energy storage.

Keep in mind, these figures pertain to utility-scale projects. Once we factor in distributed solar projects – think rooftop residential and commercial behind-the-meter systems – solar’s share of the total energy pie will be even larger.

It’s worth noting that the expected 36.4 GW projection of utility-scale solar nearly doubles last year’s increase, which was already a record-breaker. Solar companies nationwide are prepared to harness this growth, strengthening their offerings and scaling their operations.

Understandably, this energy revolution won’t be evenly spread across the country. Texas is predicted to gallop ahead, accounting for a massive 35% of the nation’s utility-scale solar in 2024. Trailing behind are California (10%) and Florida (6%).

As for battery energy storage, the total cumulative storage is predicted to nearly double this year. So far, the U.S. has installed approximately 15.5 GW of grid-scale batteries, and EIA expects a further 14.3 GW to be added this year.

The dominance of solar and batteries is only heightened by the lesser share of wind (13%), natural gas (4%), and nuclear (2%). And in a sign of the changing times, no coal-fired plants are planned for 2024, while more decommissioning projects are underway.

It’s an exciting time for solar companies around the world, but particularly here in the U.S. For homeowners and businesses looking into solar panels for your home, these developments signal a major boost in the availability and efficiency of solar resources.

If you want to track up-to-date utility-scale capacity addition data, particularly in your state, do check out pv magazine USA 50 states of solar data browser, powered by PV Intel. Remember, the future is bright with solar energy and as a solar expert, I’m thrilled to be a part of and witness this exciting transition. Stay tuned for more updates!

Original Articlehttps://pv-magazine-usa.com/2024/02/16/utility-scale-solar-had-a-record-year-in-2023-its-set-to-double-in-2024/

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