2023 was a record year for solar energy


2023 was a record yearThe American Clean Power Association has published its annual Clean Energy Market Report, which emphasizes that 2023 was a landmark year for the U.S. clean energy industry, with more capacity installed than in any previous year.

The industry added a total of 33.8 GW of new clean energy projects, up 12.5% from the previous annual record set in 2021. The growth was led by solar and storage power plants, which broke previous records for both technologies. Clean energy accounts for most of the new installed capacity.

Currently, 262 GW of clean energy is powering the U.S. grid, and as a result, the country generates 16% of its electricity from wind and solar. Clean energy is available in 93% of congressional districts and all 50 states. ACP says that future development looks promising, as the number of projects is reaching historic levels, according to the report.com for solar energy

“Clean energy is fundamental to the American economy, accounting for more than 75% of all new energy commissioned last year. We are producing clean energy in every state and nearly every congressional district,” said ACP CEO Jason Grumet. “It’s been a banner year for storage and solar, and there’s real excitement about the 123 newly announced manufacturing facilities that will bring economic development to communities across the country. But despite these accomplishments, we need to do more to achieve our shared goals of energy security and zero emissions. ACP will continue to advocate for improved siting, permitting, and planning processes to accelerate clean energy deployment.”

Highlights of the Annual Clean Energy Market Report 2023 include:

  • Solar, wind, and storage account for 77% of all new installed capacity.
  • Solar power plants increased to 19.6 GW, with utility-scale projects leading the growth.
  • The capacity of energy storage almost doubled, with developers connecting 7.9 GW to the grid.
  • Investments in domestic clean energy production have increased significantly due to federal tax incentives.
  • The development potential increased by more than 25% year-on-year to 170 GW, indicating strong future growth in clean energy.
  • Clean energy is present in 93% of congressional districts and all 50 states.

Thanks to favorable federal policies and lower solar energy costs, nearly 20 GW of utility-scale solar power has been installed in 44 states. Texas and California are leading the way in terms of solar capacity additions, with 5.9 GW and 2.3 GW of new solar capacity commissioned, respectively. More than half of the 94 GW of solar capacity in operation by the end of 2023 was commissioned between 2020 and 2023. And even more – more than 92 GW are in the pipeline.

Battery storage has shown almost exponential growth, nearly doubling its installed capacity, with about 8 GW installed. This brought the total operating capacity to 17 GW. California and Texas accounted for almost three quarters of the capacity increase, but in total, in 2023, new capacity was installed in fifteen states (AZ, CA, CO, HI, MA, MN, NC, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, TX, VA, VT). The rapid growth of storage has been driven by a new tax credit for off-grid storage, the solar energy boom, the value of storage during peak demand and grid stress, and lower prices for key battery materials, ACP notes.

In 2023, onshore and offshore wind power faced challenges, providing 6.4 GW of wind capacity – the slowest year for new wind installations in a decade. This slowdown is largely attributed to political uncertainty, high cost of capital, lengthy permitting processes, siting barriers, and a challenging environment for new transmission line construction, ACP notes.

Corporate buyers play an important role in driving demand for clean energy by purchasing clean energy for their operations. The three largest commercial and industrial buyers in 2023 were Amazon, Meta, and Google. Meta leads as the largest buyer of operational clean electricity, while Amazon leads in terms of total contracted clean electricity capacity.

Partners material

Become a member of 100 RE UA

Switching to 100% renewable energy in Ukraine is possible!