Solar Market Insight Report 2021 Year in Review

  • In 2021, the US solar market installed a record 23.6 GWdcof solar capacity, a 19% increase over 2020.
  • Solar accounted for 46% of all new electricity-generating capacity added in the US in 2021. This represents the third year in a row that solar has made up the largest share of new generating capacity in the US. In 2021, 3.9% of all US electricity generation came from solar. 
  • Texas overtook California as the top-ranked state for solar capacity additions for the first time in 2021, thanks to a strong year for utility solar in the state. 
  • Residential solar installations totaled 4.2 GWdcin 2021, setting an annual record and exceeding more than 500,000 projects installed in a year for the first time.
  • Community solar volumes reached 957 MWdc, representing 7% year-over-year growth. Commercial solar volumes in 2021 were nearly equal to those in 2020 at 1,435 MWdc. Project delays from interconnection challenges and supply chain constraints limited growth in both sectors.
  • Utility-scale solar set an annual installation record at nearly 17 GWdc. Despite this record growth, final installations in 2021 were lower than expected due to supply chain constraints, logistics challenges, and trade headwinds. Multiple gigawatts of projects pushed their online dates from 2021 to 2022 or later.
  • 2021 was a year of increasing costs for the solar industry. Wood Mackenzie’s tracking began showing consistent year-over-year and quarter-over-quarter price increases starting in Q2 2021, which continued throughout the year. Year-over-year price increases for utility-scale solar reached 18% for fixed-tilt projects and 14.2% for single-axis tracking projects in Q4.

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