The solar and storage industry is seeing a boom in private sector investments over the last year, adding $100 billion to the U.S. economy, according to an analysis from the Solar Energy Industries Association.
The news comes a year after the Inflation Reduction Act was signed into law and provided significant climate impacts, from funding, programs, and incentives that bolstered the renewable energy sector. The solar energy space has seen 51 manufacturing facilities announced or expanded in the last year thanks to the legislation.
In addition, the solar supply chain has seen a big increase in energy capability, with 155 gigawatts of new production capacity announced since the IRA’s passage, according to SEIA’s analysis.
- 85 GW of solar module capacity
- 43 GW of solar cells
- 20 GW of silicon ingots and wafers
- 7 GW of inverter capacity
“The unprecedented surge in demand for American-made clean energy is a clear sign that the clean energy incentives enacted last year by Congress are working,” SEIA President and CEO Abigail Ross Hopper said in a statement. “This law is a shining example of how good federal policy can help spur innovation and private investment in communities that need it most. We are unleashing abundant clean energy that is creating jobs and capable of delivering affordable, reliable power to every home and business in this country.”
The next few years are expected to see a huge ramp-up in solar energy, and the nation will have over 17 times its current manufacturing capacity across modules, cells, wafers, ingots, and inverters by 2026. That’s enough to supply a majority of solar projects expected to be built in the U.S. Over the next decade, U.S. solar capacity will reach 668 GW, “enough to power every home east of the Mississippi River and offset 459 million metric tons of CO2 annually.”
The IRA accelerated solar projects and deployment that has fast-tracked energy capabilities and the industry’s impacts. Other studies have also revealed the IRA’s impact on the solar energy industry, including more expected sales of solar.
In addition, the industry is expected to add 137,000 jobs thanks to the IRA. The workforce is projected to grow to nearly 500,000 jobs by 2033. The solar workforce is projected to grow from 263,000 today to 478,000 by 2033, while solar manufacturing jobs will top 100,000 by 2033.
Plus, the sector is expected to generate $565 billion in private sector investments over the next decade.