US Solar Industry Soars with 75% Growth in 2023

Report: 75% Growth in 2023

In a landmark year for renewables, the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE) reported a surge in solar capacity installation in 2023 in the US.

The ‘Sustainable Energy in America 2024 Factbook’, a collaborative effort between BCSE and Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), reveals that the US added 35.3GW of new solar capacity in 2023. This figure proves the nation’s commitment to transitioning towards renewables.

Sectoral Breakdown in USA Solar

Sectoral Breakdown in USA Solar

Sectoral Breakdown

  • Utility-Scale Expansion: A substantial portion of the new solar capacity, totaling 23.7GW, was added in the utility-scale sector. This signifies the growing importance of large scale solar projects in meeting energy demands.
  • Commercial and Residential Contributions: The commercial and industrial, as well as residential rooftop sectors, contributed 11.6GW of new solar capacity. This distributed approach highlights the increasing adoption of commercial solar energy in various states coast to coast.

Solar Surpasses Wind

The report sheds light on a common trend for the eighth consecutive year, solar installations outpaced wind additions in the US. While wind energy remains a significant player, constituting 44.1% of renewable energy generation capacity, solar is swiftly closing the gap.

Despite the impressive growth in solar capacity, challenges persist, particularly regarding grid connections. Grid connection issues have disproportionately affected the wind sector, indicating a pressing need for infrastructural improvements to support renewable energy integration.

The report mentions the positive spillover effects of renewable energy expansion, extending to adjacent industries such as manufacturing and battery storage.

Manufacturing Boost

Since the implementation of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), the US has witnessed substantial investments in energy manufacturing projects, totaling US$123 billion. Notably, both the solar and storage sectors have seen a surge in manufacturing facilities, with 34 projects in the pipeline.

Battery Storage Growth

Battery Storage Growth in USA

Battery Storage Growth

The US experienced 28% year-on-year increase in battery storage manufacturing capacity between 2022 and 2023, reaching a total of 114GWh of lithium-ion battery manufacturing capacity. However, challenges remain as China surpasses the US to become the largest storage market globally.

Import Dependence and Overcapacity Concerns

Despite progress in domestic manufacturing, the US continues to heavily rely on solar module imports, raising concerns about supply chain resilience. Concerns on apacity additions over grid infrastructure has led to fears of overcapacity in the solar sector.

Antoine Vagneur-Jones from BNEF highlights the risk of overcapacity in the solar industry due to excessive planned investments. This overemphasis on capacity additions will require a balanced approach that prioritizes infrastructure development alongside capacity expansion.


The surge in solar capacity installation in 2023 marks a significant milestone in the US transition towards renewable energy. While the achievements are commendable, addressing grid connection challenges and ensuring a sustainable manufacturing ecosystem are crucial for sustaining this momentum. By fostering innovation and addressing systemic barriers, the US can continue to lead the way in solar energy adoption and pave the path towards a cleaner, more sustainable future.