The US brought live 3.8 GW of solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity in the third quarter of 2020, and is seen to reach 19 GW of annual installations.
The quarterly figure rose by 9% sequentially as the market started to recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis, Wood Mackenzie says in its latest US Solar Market Insight report, compiled together with the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).
“This report points to the incredible resilience of our companies and workers in the face of the pandemic and continued demand for clean, affordable electricity sources,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, SEIA’s president and CEO.
The authors of the report expect that solar capacity additions in 2020 will be up by 43% on the previous year. Taking into account the zooming utility-scale project pipeline, which has reached the record-high 69.2 GW, the country is set to achieve 100 GW of cumulative installed solar capacity by mid-2021, SEIA and Wood estimate.
Around 70% of the installations in July-September came from the utility-scale market, where 2.7 GW of solar parks went online. The residential segment, the one hit the most by the pandemic, grew by 14% in quarterly terms and thus beat recovery expectations. Still, the additions of residential solar capacity were lower than those in the first quarter.
The states with the biggest installation declines in the second quarter, such as New York and New Jersey, witnessed the biggest recoveries in the third trimester, noted Michelle Davis, senior analyst at Wood Mackenzie. Texas and Florida together were responsible for over 2 GW of the third-quarter additions.
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