US sees ‘rapid growth’ in solar energy

Utility-scale solar installations grew at an average rate of 72% per year between 2010 and 2016. The growth was faster than any other generating technologies, according to the Energy Information […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

Utility-scale solar installations grew at an average rate of 72% per year between 2010 and 2016.

The growth was faster than any other generating technologies, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

As of December 2016, around 21.5GW of utility-scale solar generating capacity was in operation across the US, with more than 7.6GW of that capacity coming online last year.

The EIA estimates the US added 3.4GW of small-scale solar capacity across the residential, commercial and industrial sectors last year, ending the year with more than 13GW of installed capacity.

Monthly generation from small-scale solar capacity is estimated to have been 1.6 million MWh on average in 2016 – or about two-thirds of the amount generated by utility-scale solar generators.

California, New Jersey and Massachusetts had the most small-scale solar capacity, with 5.4GW, 1.3GW and 1GW respectively.