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U.S. utility-scale solar power net generation share rose 0.6% in 2021

November 18, 2022

S&P Capital IQ ($):

U.S. utility-scale solar power's share of net generation expanded by 0.6 percentage point in 2021 to 2.8% from 2.2% in 2020, despite significant growth in output. All of the North American Electric Reliability Corp. subregions analyzed, excluding Alaska, showed small increases in solar penetration percentages, with the largest increase of 1.4 percentage points in the Texas Reliability Entity, or TRE subregion.

Solar generation for the nation was up 25.6 million MWh, or 28.8%, to 114.6 million MWh from 88.9 million MWh in 2020, despite supply chain disruptions, according to an S&P Global Market Intelligence analysis.

Total U.S. net generation in 2021 from all fuel sources rose 100.3 million MWh to 4.13 billion MWh, compared to 4.03 billion MWh in 2020. Subregion R-PJM, covering mainly Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, saw the largest increase in overall generation in 2021 at 723.3 million MWh, compared to 693.4 million MWh the prior year, a jump of 30.0 million MWh. New York's subregion NY saw the largest decline in total net generation for the year with a 4.9 million MWh drop. The analysis excludes Canadian portions of NERC subregions.

The California-Mexico area, or CAMX, which is similar in size to the California ISO market, supplied the largest amount of solar generation in the U.S. in 2021 among all NERC subregions at 38.8 million MWh. CAMX remained the subregion with the highest solar penetration rate at 17.6% compared to 16.1% in 2020.

[Susan Dlin]

More: US utility-scale solar share of total net generation expands slightly in 2021

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