Tuesday, September 26, 2023

US sets new record for rooftop solar PV capacity by 2022, with 6.4 GW

The United States added 6.4 gigawatts (GW) of small-scale solar capacity by 2022, the most achieved in a single year.

Small-scale solar – also called distributed solar or rooftop solar – refers to solar energy systems with 1 megawatt (MW) capacity or less. Rooftop solar panels make up the majority of small solar capacity in the United States. Small solar energy systems are also used in the commercial and industrial sectors.

US small-scale solar capacity grew from 7.3 GW in 2014, when the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) began publishing these estimates, at 39.5 GW by 2022. Small solar represents about a third of total US solar capacity.

Us Sets New Record For Rooftop Solar Pv Capacity By 2022, With 6.4 Gw

Tax credits and incentives, public policies, and rising retail electricity prices have fueled the growth of small solar capacity over the past decade. The declining cost of solar panels also plays a role.

California has the least solar capacity in the country, at 36%. Abundant sunshine, favorable incentives, and relatively high retail electricity prices have encouraged the adoption of rooftop solar energy in California.

California’s Energy Net Metering Program allows rooftop solar panels to connect to the electrical grid and provides credits for any excess electricity produced by the panels and sent to the grid. Starting in 2020, California will require newly constructed single-family homes and multifamily buildings up to three stories tall to install solar panels.

New York and New Jersey — among the mid-Atlantic states with the least year-round sunshine — have the second and third largest small solar capacity, respectively, despite recent years, sunny Texas and Arizona are closing the gap. Long-standing state policies in New York and New Jersey offer generous solar incentives and encourage the growth of small-scale solar energy.

Many of the states with the largest small solar capacity also have large populations. Considering population size provides insight into the actual prevalence of small solar capacity in a state. Although California has the highest small solar capacity, Hawaii has the highest small solar penetration, at 541 watts per capita.

Us Sets New Record For Rooftop Solar Pv Capacity By 2022, With 6.4 Gw

Most of Hawaii’s electricity has historically come from oil-fired thermal power plants. These plants depend on expensive fuel imports, which translates into high electricity bills. As the cost of solar panels has dropped, many homes and businesses in Hawaii have added solar panels, reducing their electricity bills and helping the state work toward its goal of generating 100% of its electricity. from renewable sources in 2045. .

Nation World News Desk
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