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Power Generation and Cumulative Capacity of Solar PV Power Plants in United States of America (2017 – 2021)

  • Net electricity generated by Solar PV power plants in United States of America reached 208,812.6 GWh in 2021, growing 24.9% YoY

  • During the same year, the cumulative capacity of Solar PV power plants in United States of America reached 121,727.6 MW, growing 26.4% YoY

  • Power generation recorded a historical growth at a CAGR of 23.1% between 2017 and 2021, while the cumulative capacity growth at 23.1% between 2017 and 2021

Power Generation and Cumulative Capacity of Solar PV Power Plants in United States of America (2017 – 2021)

Published: December 2021
Source: GlobalData

With ever increasing energy demands, rising levels of pollution, fear of global warming, scarcity of fossil fuels, and increasing levels of greenhouse gases (GHG), many countries have opted for clean renewable energy sources. Many countries have signed protocols with pre-defined emission reduction targets. The Paris Agreement is the most recent step taken by several countries whereby each country voluntarily determined their emission reduction targets, presented them and pledged to achieve GHG reductions according to these targets. Several countries that have been party to the Paris Agreement have devised plans to reduce conventional power and aid the growth of renewable power to reduce emissions. The main renewable energy sources are Hydro, Geothermal, Wind, Solar, and Biopower.   

Solar photovoltaics (PV) is an emerging technology for generating energy. Solar PV system converts sunlight into electrical energy. This technology is growing rapidly owing to the low investment required, compared to other renewable technologies. A solar PV system is powered by many interconnected PV cells, which are light-sensitive semiconductor materials assembled in the form of modules. Several modules connected form a PV array. The electricity generated is supplied to the electrical grid or to the consumer directly. 

The global installed capacity for solar PV increased from 38,532 megawatts (MW) in 2010 to 738,891 MW in 2020, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 34.4%. The global installed solar PV capacity is expected to reach 2,809,170 MW by 2030.  China, United States of America, Japan, India, and Germany were the top five solar PV power generation markets in 2021.  

United States of America is the second largest solar PV market, with cumulative installed capacity of 121,728 MW as of 2021, growing at a CAGR of 23.1% between 2017 and 2021. The solar PV power generation increased to 208,813 GWh of electricity in 2021, growing at a CAGR of 23.1% between 2017 and 2021.  

The US government has provided generous support to the renewable energy industry over the past 10 years and has prepared a supportive regulatory framework. The main federal incentive programs that encourage the growth of renewable energy are Production Tax Credit (PTC) and Investment Tax Credit (ITC). At the state level, most governments have introduced RPS programs, under which utilities have an obligation to purchase a certain percentage of their power, generally 10–20%, within a specified time frame from renewable sources within that state. 



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