The US solar industry contracted a record 10 GW of utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity in the second quarter of 2022, boosted by increased demand after the recent passage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), shows a new report by Wood Mackenzie.
The quarterly volumes accounted for the largest contracted capacity in a single trimester since 2019 and marked a jump of 201% from the first three months of the year. As a result, the country’s contracted solar pipeline reached an all-time high of 88 GW.
“The utility-scale solar segment is seeing a real boost of interest and investment. There are still some short-term challenges for installations, as we continue to grapple with supply chain challenges, but the future looks very bright,” said Sylvia Leyva Martinez, senior research analyst with Wood Mackenzie.
IRA, which will provide long-term tax incentives for investment in the renewable energy sector, was passed in August. According to the global research and consultancy firm, the benefits of the law will be not that discernible until 2025 due to the supply chain hurdles. Its forecast for the US utility-scale solar market is for 437 GW of fresh capacity to be added in the period 2022-2032.
In terms of capacity deployments, the US commissioned 2.7 GW of utility-scale solar installations in the second quarter, or 24% more than in the preceding three months. Texas was the leader, being responsible for 53% of the total. Regardless of the growth, the three months through June were the lowest second-quarter since 2019 in terms of utility-scale solar deployment as the industry is stifled by the ongoing supply chain issues, Wood Mackenzie noted.
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