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What to know about the U.S. solar market in 2022

The amount of solar energy installed in the United States has been growing rapidly in the last few years – in fact, it’s grown by over 20,000% since 2010! As more people start to go solar as a way 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 across the globe.

Key takeaways about the U.S. solar market

  1. The U.S. has increased its installed solar capacity from 373.3 megawatts (MW) in 2010 to 7,7471.2 MW in 2021.

  2. As of 2020, more than 225,000 people are employed by the solar industry

  3. China has the largest amount of solar capacity in the world with more than 300,000 MW.

  4. The total market size for the solar industry is expected to reach $293.18 billion in 2028.

  5. Solar shoppers should use the EnergySage Marketplace to browse for solar panels based on price, efficiency, brand, quality, and more. 

What’s in this article?

US solar market capacity

The total amount of solar capacity from residential installations since 2010 has greatly increased from 374.3 MW to 77471.2 MW by the end of 2021.This is due to a variety of reasons, including the declining cost of solar which has dropped more than 70 percent since 2014. This decrease in cost, coupled with greater availability of incentives, has made solar more affordable for average homeowners.

residential solar installation capacity

Source: SEIA

National solar energy jobs

The total number of national solar industry jobs has also grown since 2010 with large numbers of people working in newer areas like operations and maintenance. This has followed national trends of increased demand for residential and commercial solar, resulting in the majority of solar jobs coming from installation and development. Despite some decreases in the amount 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.

number of solar industry jobs

Source: SEIA

Solar power by country

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 dominates in solar production in large part due to strong government incentives for solar companies. These incentives, coupled with low labor costs, enable China to produce the least expensive panels in the world, allowing other countries that import these panels to cheaply grow domestic solar capacity.

Solar capacity by country

Source: IRENA

Solar industry growth

Growth in the solar industry is expected to continue, with total market size predicted to reach $293.18 billion by 2028, up from $184.3 billion in 2020. This is largely due to national climate goals from the Biden administration to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent 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 future of solar power in the United States

The COVID-19 pandemic led to many issues with supply chains around the world, resulting in a 19 percent 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 in terms of overall capacity, as well as 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.

Start your solar journey today

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 of 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, simply make a note in your profile – and check out our extensive list of manufacturers in the U.S.


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