Solar energy is here to stay, painting a brighter, cleaner, and more sustainable picture for our world. The year 2023 represents an array of exciting statistics in the solar industry, including making solar technology more accessible and appealing. Here’s a roundup of some global solar statistics that are making waves this year:

1. Unprecedented Growth in the U.S.:

The U.S. solar industry is booming, with a record expansion of 32GW anticipated in 2023 and 5.6 gigawatts of direct current (GWdc) of capacity installed in the second quarter alone. This surge represents a 52% growth compared to 2022, bouncing back from a 13% market contraction in the previous year. In fact, U.S. solar capacity has more than tripled over the last six years, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), increasing its solar capacity from slightly over 40,000 MW in late 2016 to more than 135,000 MW by the end of 2022.

Governmental support has been instrumental in fueling this growth, with investment incentives under the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act (IRA)  allocating around $370 billion to clean energy and climate change initiatives, with the 30% Federal Tax Credit for families and businesses still in effect and additional incentives related to manufacturing. The focus on domestic manufacturing is expected to improve supply conditions, paving the way for a ten-fold increase in U.S. solar module manufacturing by 2026. SEIA predicts that by 2030, one in seven homeowners will have solar panels on their roofs.

2. Job Creation and Economic Growth:

Solar energy is not just brightening our homes but also our job prospects. Solar jobs in the U.S. have increased by 167% over the last decade, with the solar industry creating thousands of jobs in areas like manufacturing, installation, and sales. In fact, there are more than 255,000 workers in the U.S. solar industry; according to the 12th annual National Solar Jobs Census, there are more than 10,000 companies. Solar’s job growth rate is currently five times faster than the overall job growth rate in the U.S.

This solar sector job growth is projected to continue. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics lists “solar photovoltaic installer” among the projected fastest-growing occupations between 2021 and 2031, with an expected growth rate of 27%.

California is responsible for nearly 40% of solar capacity in the U.S., and according to, California’s solar companies employ more than 78,000 workers at almost 2,500 companies, which represents nearly 30% of the industry’s nationwide workforce.

3. The Spread of Solar Globally:

According to SolarPower Europe, in 2022, the world will have installed 239 GW of new solar. That’s 45% more solar power capacity than the year before. The positive market developments in the first months of 2023 promise another solar boom year, which is expected to result in 341 GW of newly added solar to the grid by the end of the year, equal to 43% growth. Research firm BloombergNEF expects global solar installations to rise by 56 percent in 2023 as solar technology continues to reach new corners of the globe.

While solar deployments in the U.S., South America, and the EU are growing fast, China continues to lead the way—it’s expected to account for 50% of new global solar PV projects by 2024. The U.S. solar capacity is expected to represent 11% of the global total by 2026, according to recent data from Rystad.

4. India’s Solar Evolution:

India is stepping into a new era of solar energy, emphasizing domestic manufacturing and supply chain independence. These steps are expected to bolster India’s solar industry and reduce dependency on imports, aligning with the broader vision of a self-reliant nation. This is combined with a 21% increase in solar power generation during the 2nd quarter of this year.

Solar capacity in the overall power mix has been growing steadily at 15.9% of the total installed power capacity and 38.3% of the total installed renewable capacity in Q2 2023, an increase from the previous year of 14% and 35.4%, respectively.

5. Europe’s Solar Dynamics:

While the exact details are still unfolding, trade tariffs on solar imports are influencing the solar landscape in Europe. This situation is worth monitoring as it unfolds, impacting both the cost and accessibility of solar solutions in the region. However, the EU Solar Strategy of May 2022 called solar the ‘kingpin’ of the continent’s effort to get off Russian gas.

6. Africa’s Solar Dynamics:

According to the International Renewable Energy Agency, over the past decade, solar energy has been the fastest-growing source of renewable energy across the continent. For the current decade (2020–2030), solar power is expected to contribute an even bigger portion of new electricity generation installations. The demand for renewable energy in Africa continues to expand due to several factors, including strong population growth and urbanization, economic growth, government policies, a push for energy efficiency, and a climate change agenda.

7. Residential and Utility-Scale Solar Growth:

The U.S. has seen a significant uptick in both residential and utility-scale solar installations. California is one of the sunniest states but has electricity with an average price that surpasses the national average by a whopping 63.5%, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA). Combined, these two factors create a major incentive to use solar panels in California homes and businesses, combined with long-term planning and ambitious plans to produce 60% of the state’s electricity with renewables by 2030 and 100% by 2045. Currently, the state gets almost 30% of its electricity from solar. 

Shared solar is providing an entry point for more households and small businesses. This trend is democratizing access to solar energy, especially in regions where it was previously deemed unaffordable or inaccessible.

Solar energy is clearly more than a fleeting trend. It’s a global movement towards a sustainable and bright future. As nations harness the sun’s power, individuals and businesses can also partake in this solar revolution, reducing carbon footprints and contributing to a cleaner planet.

Curious to know how you can ride the solar wave? Contact us for a free consultation and discover how solar energy can light up your world!

By Published On: December 15, 2023

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