Solar installations increased in the first few months of this year, thanks in part to an easing of supply chain challenges. The U.S. solar industry installed 6.1 gigawatts of solar capacity in the first quarter of 2023. That’s enough power for more than 4 million homes.
The data comes from an industry report released Thursday by the Solar Energy Industries Association and research firm Wood Mackenzie. The record quarter was due in part to delayed solar projects resuming as supply chain issues eased, SEIA said. Renewable energy incentives in the Biden administration’s Deflation Act also helped boost demand.
Installations in the residential segment increased by 30% compared to this time last year to 1.6 gigawatts. The residential market is expected to add 36 gigawatts of solar over the next five years, according to the report. Overall, SEIA says there is currently enough solar installed in the U.S. to power 26 million households.
Many people are looking at rooftop solar as a greener and (in the long run) cheaper way to power their homes, explains CNET’s Katie Collins. It can also improve the value of the home and its energy independence.
But solar doesn’t work for all homeowners, including those who don’t want to spend money on upfront costs or those without ideal conditions for the panels. If you’re considering solar panels for your home, CNET breaks down the installations, tax credits, batteries, and everything else you need to know to get started.
The commercial market segment also had a record first quarter, installing 391 megawatts, according to the report. Florida had the most solar installations in the quarter, across commercial, residential and other sectors, with 1.46 gigawatts.