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An extended crisis in the US coal industry and ecological concerns surrounding energy generation are important contributors to the phenomenal growth in solar power generation capacity in the US during the last decade. Net solar electricity generation has increased by 7,135 percent, from about 508,000 MWh in 2006 to 36.8 million MWh in 2016.

  • The average growth rate for solar power generation capacity was about 73 percent per year between 2010 and 2016, a significantly higher rate than other electricity generation technologies. The rate has slowed, however, during the last three years, increasing by 46 percent from January 2016 to January 2017, according to US Energy Information Administration (EIA).
  • Last year, California led the nation in new solar capacity generation, while Minnesota was the top state by new solar capacity as a share of pre-2016 capacity.
  • Even some US-based coal companies are now turning to solar, transforming coal real estate into solar farms and publicly promoting the job growth the strategy promises for communities that have suffered during the decline of US coal production.

Today, the combined net electricity generation capacity of the country’s 2,000 solar power plants is just 2 percent of the national total, and just 1 percent of the United State's total electricity generation. So, what do energy authorities expect from this industry going forward? 

  • During 2017, US solar power generation is expected to grow at a slightly lower rate than in 2016 at about 37 percent, according to the EIA Short Term Energy Outlook published this month. Even so, the US appears to be on track to reach a record output level of 189.83 GWh per day next month.
  • The IEA World Energy Outlook 2016 offers three scenarios for US solar energy generation growth over the long term through 2040. According to the most optimistic scenario—the “450 Scenario”—US solar electricity generation in 2040 will be about 575 TWh, a level almost equal to the net electricity generation from all US renewable sources in 2016.
Download our latest US ECONOMY cheat sheet Download

Download our latest US ECONOMY cheat sheet

The United States being the biggest economy in the world significantly influences the global economic situation. The US economy is comprehensively covered by data and statistics from multiple government and private sources. We selected the most significant and up-to-date ones and presented them in this cheat sheet.

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Wind Power Capacity

Wind energy applications and turbine installations at different scales have increased since the beginning of this century. Increasing demand of energy in the fast growing economy forced to look at alternative sources of renewable energy. As wind energy is an alternative clean energy source compared to the fossil fuels that pollute the atmosphere and exhaustive resources, systems that convert wind energy to electricity have developed rapidly. The energy is one of the economic renewable sources and a valuable supplement to conventional energy sources. The overall capacity of all wind turbines installed worldwide by the end of 2017 reached...

Powering Africa: Nigeria

This October will see the 6th Powering Africa: Nigeria investors summit take place in Abuja, where your commercial objectives are put at the heart of the agenda. We will also analyse the progress Nigeria’s power sector has achieved in the last 12 months. We warmly invite you to join us in October and would like you to let us know how your business has developed in the last year. We will be delighted for you to share your story with other participants too. Date of Event: 4-6 October 2017 Location: Abuja, Nigeria