The amount of solar energy installed in the United States has increased in the last few years. It's grown by over 20,000% since 2010! As more people start to go solar to save money and as more incentives become available, we'll continue to see increases in the amount of deployed solar capacity, both in the U.S. and globally.
The U.S. has increased its installed solar capacity from 373.3 megawatts (MW) in 2010 to 7,7471.2 MW in 2021.
As of 2020, the solar industry employs more than 225,000 people.
China has the world's largest solar capacity, with over 300,000 MW.
The total market size for the solar industry is expected to reach $293.18 billion in 2028.
Solar shoppers should use the EnergySage Marketplace to browse solar panels based on price, efficiency, brand, quality, and more.
The total solar capacity from residential installations since 2010 has dramatically increased from 374.3 MW to 77471.2 MW by the end of 2021. This is due to various reasons, including the declining cost of solar, which has dropped more than 70% since 2014. This price decrease, coupled with greater availability of incentives, has made solar more affordable for average homeowners.
The number of national solar industry jobs has also grown since 2010, with many working in newer areas like operations and maintenance. This has followed national trends of increased demand for residential and commercial solar, resulting in most solar jobs in installation and development. Despite some decreases in the number of people employed in recent years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, solar jobs are expected to continue to increase in the U.S. to meet climate goals set by the Biden administration.
China produces the most solar energy out of any country in the world, with more than 300,000 megawatts (MW) of capacity, followed by the United States with more than 95,000 MW. China largely dominates solar production due to strong government incentives for solar companies. These incentives and low labor costs enable China to produce the least expensive panels globally, allowing other countries that import these panels to grow domestic solar capacity cheaply.
Growth in the solar industry is expected to continue, with the total market size predicted to reach $293.18 billion by 2028, up from $184.3 billion in 2020. This is primarily due to national climate goals from the Biden administration to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030. Increasing consumer demand is also a key driver of industry growth, which will ultimately result in further solar cost decreases in the future.
The COVID-19 pandemic led to many global supply chain issues, resulting in a 19% reduction in utility-scale deployment forecasts in 2021/2022 over the past six months. Despite these setbacks, solar and renewables in the United States are expected to trend positively regarding overall capacity, sales, and job growth. As solar technology continues to advance and more incentives become available, the cost and efficiency of solar will become more attractive, and capacity will accelerate.
Want to join the growing number of homeowners and businesses going solar? Using the EnergySage Marketplace, you can compare multiple quotes from our network of installers. All our installers are pre-vetted, so you can feel confident that your installer is experienced and trustworthy! If you're particularly interested in American-made solar components, make a note in your profile – and check out our extensive list of manufacturers in the U.S.