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Solar Shatters Records in Early 2020, but COVID Slows Growth


By Greg Zimmerman Green
solar panels

There’s good news and bad news in the solar and renewables industries in the first half of 2020. First the good: According to the Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA), 3.6 gigawatts of solar were added in the first quarter of 2020, shattering a record for the first quarter of any year. 

The U.S. is also on track to produce more electricity from renewables than from coal in 2020 for the first time ever. In the first part of 2020, the U.S. produced more electricity from renewables than coal on 90 separate days. That’s significant considering the previous record for an entire year was 38 days.

Now the bad news: Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the solar industry slowed dramatically in the second quarter of 2020. According to SEIA, “Construction has been delayed, customer demand has dropped and access to financing for projects of all sizes has been challenged.” 

Still, overall, consulting firm Wood Mackenzie forecasts a 33 percent annual growth for solar for 2020, adding 18 gigawatts of installations. That number is adjusted slightly down from its original estimate of 20 gigawatts of added solar.  

This post was submitted by Greg Zimmerman, executive editor, Building Operating Management and FacilitiesNet.com. 

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