Utility-scale solar accounts for 6.1% of US electricity generation in April, according to EIA

nextera energy resources
In April, US solar generation almost exceeded that of hydroelectric power. Image: NextEra Energy Resources.

The US generated 18,938GWh of electricity from utility-scale solar PV and thermal sources in April 2024, accounting for 6.1% of the country’s total electricity generation, according to the latest figures from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).

The generation figures are encouraging compared to earlier numbers. In April 2023, the US generated 14,755GWh of electricity from solar sources, accounting for only 4.9% of total US electricity generation. Between April 2023 and April 2024, electricity generated at utility-scale solar projects increased by 28.3%, significantly higher than the second-fastest growing type of power generation, which was hydroelectric pumped storage, which increased by 17.4% year-on-year.

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These figures are also impressive compared to other forms of renewable power generation. As shown in the graph below, April saw solar generation almost exceed that of hydroelectric power, and the rate of growth in solar generation exceeded the rate of growth in the wind sector.

EIA figures also demonstrate that solar has become an increasingly important part of the US power sector. In 2022, solar accounted for 3.4% of the US’ total electricity generation, and this figure increased to 3.9% in 2023.

Notably, solar output increased from 143,797GWh to 164,502GWh between 2022 and 2023, while the US’ total power generation fell from 4,230,672GWh to 4,178,171GWh, suggesting that solar generation has been resilient at a time where power generation from other sources, notably fossil fuels, is falling.

There was similar growth in the small-scale sector in particular. The EIA figures demonstrate a 16.9% increase in power generated by small-scale PV projects, from April 2023 to April 2024, reaching 7,909GWh. Electricity generated by small-scale projects has also increased each month in the first four months of the year.

The encouraging generation figures suggests the US is an attractive space for solar deployments, which echoes the findings of a report from Ernst & Young (EY), published this week, which named the US the most attractive market for renewable investment and deployment opportunities.

The news follows a number of positive developments in the US upstream space, too. This week, NorSun announced plans to build a 5GW ingot and wafer manufacturing plant in Oklahoma and Meyer Burger started commercial operations at its Arizona module plant.

8 October 2024
San Francisco Bay Area, USA
PV Tech has been running an annual PV CellTech Conference since 2016. PV CellTech USA, on 8-9 October 2024 is our second PV CellTech conference dedicated to the U.S. manufacturing sector. The event in 2023 was a sell out success and 2024 will once again gather the key stakeholders from PV manufacturing, equipment/materials, policy-making and strategy, capital equipment investment and all interested downstream channels and third-party entities. The goal is simple: to map out PV manufacturing in the U.S. out to 2030 and beyond.
17 June 2025
Napa, USA
PV Tech has been running PV ModuleTech Conferences since 2017. PV ModuleTech USA, on 17-18 June 2025, will be our fourth PV ModulelTech conference dedicated to the U.S. utility scale solar sector. The event will gather the key stakeholders from solar developers, solar asset owners and investors, PV manufacturing, policy-making and and all interested downstream channels and third-party entities. The goal is simple: to map out the PV module supply channels to the U.S. out to 2026 and beyond.

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