Despite pandemic, new U.S. solar capacity will grow 33% in 2020
NEW YORK: New U.S. solar installations will increase by a third this year, a report published showed, as soaring demand by utilities for carbon-free power more than outweighs a dramatic decline in rooftop system orders for homes and businesses due to the coronavirus pandemic. The solar industry will install 18 gigawatts this year, enough to power more than 3 million homes, according to the report by the U.S. Solar Industries Association and energy research firm Wood Mackenzie. That is 9% less than the group’s forecast before the outbreak prompted construction delays, weakened consumer demand and tightened access to financing. SEIA reduced its five-year solar installation outlook by about 3% to 113 GW, citing “considerable uncertainty” caused by the pandemic. Solar accounted for 40% of new U.S. capacity additions in the first quarter, ahead of natural gas and wind.