Natural gas is still the main power source in the US, generating 40% of the power consumed according to the Energy Information Administration. However, renewables have been growing at a fast pace, especially during 2021. According to the latest quarterly report from the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the US added 15.7 GW of solar power from Q1 to Q3 2021. The cumulative capacity for the year will most likely exceed 20 GW when the Q4 results are added.
Early in 2021, the US solar industry reached an important milestone with more than 100 GW of installed capacity. The SEIA and Wood Mackenzie had previously forecast 250 GW by 2026, and now the projection has been updated to 300 GW with a potential extension of the federal tax credit. The utility-scale solar segment continues to lead growth, with 3.8 GW installed during Q3 2021. However, the residential sector broke records with more than 1 GW deployed in a single quarter.