U.S. clean energy installations set a new record in 2023

Clean energy installations in the United States set a new record in 2023. The American Clean Power Association (ACP) released its Clean Power Annual Market Report today, highlighting a landmark year for U.S. clean energy with the addition of 33.8 GW of new utility-scale clean energy projects, surpassing by 12.5% the previous annual installation record set in 2021.

Solar and storage additions led the charge, shattering previous records for both technologies. Clean power accounted for most of the new power capacity installed. 

The U.S. now has 262 GW of clean energy powering its grid, which is enough electricity to power the equivalent of 69 million American homes. As a result, the nation now generates 16% of its electricity from wind and solar. Clean energy can be found in 93% of congressional districts and in all 50 states. Future development looks promising, with the report finding project pipelines are reaching historic levels. 

“Clean energy is fundamental to the American economy, accounting for more than 75% of all new power brought online last year. We are generating clean energy in every state and nearly every congressional district,” said Jason Grumet, CEO the American Clean Power Association. “It has been a banner year for storage and solar, and there is real excitement over the 123 newly announced manufacturing facilities that will bring economic development to communities across the country. But despite these achievements, we need to make even greater strides to meet our shared energy security and net-zero goals. ACP will continue to advocate for improvements to siting, permitting, and planning processes to accelerate the deployment of clean energy.”   

Key highlights from the Clean Power Annual Market Report | 2023

  • Solar, wind, and storage accounted for 77% of all new power capacity installed. 
  • Utility-scale solar installations soared to 19.6 GW, with utility-scale projects leading the expansion. 
  • Energy storage capacity nearly doubled as developers connected 7.9 GW to the grid. 
  • Investment in domestic clean energy manufacturing has grown significantly, spurred by federal tax incentives. 
  • The development pipeline is up over 25% year-over-year to 170 GW, indicating robust future clean power growth. 
  • Clean energy is found in 93% of congressional districts and in all 50 states. 

Utility-scale solar energy — bolstered by favorable federal policies and decreasing costs — experienced an exceptional year with nearly 20 GW installed across 44 states. Texas and California led the country in solar additions, bringing 5.9 GW and 2.3 GW of new solar online respectively. More than half of the 94 GW of solar in operation at the end of 2023 came online between 2020 and 2023. And more is on the way, with over 92 GW in the pipeline. 

Battery storage demonstrated near-exponential growth by almost doubling installed capacity with around 8 GW installed. This brings total operating capacity to 17 GW. California and Texas accounted for nearly three-quarters of the year’s storage additions, but a total of 15 states added new storage capacity in 2023 (AZ, CA, CO, HI, MA, MN, NC, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, TX, VA and VT). The rapid growth of storage was supported by a new tax credit for standalone storage, the boom in solar power, the value storage delivers during peak demand and times of grid stress, and a decline in prices for key battery materials. 

The land-based and offshore wind sectors faced challenges in 2023, delivering 6.4 GW of wind power capacity — the slowest year for new wind installations in a decade. This slowdown was attributed largely to policy uncertainty, high costs of capital, long permitting processes, siting barriers, and a challenging environment for building new transmission. 

Corporate buyers are playing an important role in driving up clean energy demand by purchasing clean power for their operations. The top three commercial and industrial (C&I) buyers in 2023 were Amazon, Meta, and Google. Meta leads as the top buyer of operating clean power, while Amazon leads with the most total clean power capacity contracted.  

The clean power industry remains optimistic for the future, especially as developers started construction on 41 GW of new projects in the final months of 2023. This brings the clean power pipeline to a record 170 GW. Nonetheless, the record-setting pace of annual installations still lags behind what is needed for the country to achieve a net-zero emissions economy by 2050. 

public version of the 2023 report is available, with the full 124-page document detailing 2023’s market trends available exclusively to ACP membership.

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