U.S. Solar Installed Capacity Is Catching Up To Wind
The U.S wind industry has had a significant head start relative to the solar industry. By 2005, wind installations in the U.S. had almost reached 10 GW while solar installations were just below 0.5 GW (DC). By 2010, in just five years, wind installations increased to 40 GW while solar installations were just a fraction of that at only 2.6 GW. In the past ten years, wind capacity growth has been relatively steady at about 7 GW per year, with a peak addition of 13 GW in 2012.
In contrast to the steady pace of growth in the wind sector, U.S. solar capacity additions have accelerated in the past decade. Figure 1 shows that by 2020, total installed solar capacity (DC) has increased to almost 96 GW, only 19 GW short of installed wind capacity (note that on an AC basis, solar installations are approximately 80 percent lower at 77 GW).
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